Saturday, 8 December 2012

The Call

GospelLuke 3:1-6 

In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar’s reign, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judaea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of the lands of Ituraea and Trachonitis, Lysanias tetrach of Abilene, during the pontificate of Annas and Caiaphas the word of God came to John son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He went through the whole Jordan district proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the sayings of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley will be filled in,
every mountain and hill be laid low,
winding ways will be straightened
and rough roads made smooth.
And all mankind shall see the salvation of God.

Last week, Advent began with the words of an adult Jesus; foretelling a world of chaos and bewilderment where only his followers could stand with confidence- if they dared.

Now, his cousin, John walks through the dustclouds of desert wilderness proclaiming ancient prophecy. Luke places John clearly in history; the who's who of leaders both political and religious will be recorded elsewhere; ensuring that the reader understands this is  not a parable, a myth or a fable. This is a prophecy fulfilled in their lifetime. A son of man - miraculous by birth - will bring God's promise to anyone who will open their ears and hear his voice.

In Advent we are reminded of our own journey through life; how the years go by and the expectation of Christmas becomes more and more defined by the actions of the past - our disappointments and regrets often more than our joys. How often we hear people say; hear ourselves remark how quickly the year has gone. And what have we achieved? We live not with expectation of the future but with a yearning for 'might have been'.

John demands that we stop. He demands that we stop thinking about ourselves and our needs; that we rethink our desire to have it all; and to have it all our way. After all there is a baby to consider.

A new birth calls for a new commitment and, just as we change our lives, our surroundings and our routines to fit in with our own new arrivals, the coming of the Christ Child calls for a 'metanoia' - a complete emptying out and turning around of everything we are. We are asked to attend to the pitfalls and avoidances in our lives. To become hopeful; to become joyful; to become adult in our faith and our responsibilities.

 How else could we expect God to trust us with his Son?


1 comment:

claire said...

A voice cries in the wilderness:
Prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.

...a complete emptying out and turning around of everything we are...

Yes, Word... It is the time of the year when I feel John tells me to prepare a way for the Lord in my heart, and to make his paths straight amidst the rubble of what not so nice in me...

There is indeed a call. Thank you for helping me hear it once again.