the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”
Oh what, John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way for the Lord doesn’t cry out “peace” to you? Okay, me neither. But this next Sunday is our second Sunday in Advent. And for Advent 2, the candle we light is for peace.
Preparing for Peace
Honestly I’m not a huge fan of John the Baptist. He reads a bit like those guys on the street corner with the angry signs. But it’s his voice crying out in the wilderness that begins the Gospel of Mark.
Mark doesn’t have a Christmas story, there’s no wise men or angels, but rather a hairy dude in a river, proclaiming repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
But sometimes, in the midst of a world filled with turmoil, it’s this weird guy that is bringing us words of peace. So how might this guy eating bugs and wearing strange clothes bring us this comfort?
He brings us words of the coming Jesus. This whole season of Advent, these four Sundays leading up to Christmas, are about preparing the way for Jesus.
It’s this peace that we are given in Jesus, the moment when Jesus hits the water in his baptism.
It’s this baptism of the Holy Spirit that Jesus receives, that we are also invited into. This baptism of forgiveness, and yes, peace.
Even when it comes from some weird guy – these are words reminding us to prepare for Jesus. And when we prepare for Jesus, we prepare for God’s peace in our lives.
How are you preparing for Christmas? Has it been a very peaceful experience? How might you find this comfort in your life today?