“Long is our winter, dark is our night. Expectant are our hearts. Come, O Radiant, Healing, Loving Light!” | Adapted from a fifteenth century German hymn
Almighty and merciful God, may no earthly undertaking hinder those who set out in haste to meet your Son, but may our learning of heavenly wisdom gain us admittance to his company. We lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
During Advent, one strong voice that tries to rouse us to the demands of our discipleship is that of John the Baptist. He comes from the wildness, eager to share what he has learned there in the privileged place of covenant making and the dangerous environment of temptation to covenant breaking. The Spirit thrusts John the Baptist onto the banks of the Jordan River to be Israel’s awakener to what God will do in and through Jesus. Sharpened in wisdom and words by his desert experience, John cuts his way through hypocrisy and sinfulness, and offers to the Jordan crowd his baptism of repentance.
It was at the Jordan River that the Hebrews came out of their wilderness wandering and crossed through the waters to the Promised Land. Over twelve hundred years later, the Baptist calls their descendants into the waters of another transition, another entry into the promises of God.
– Building on Rock, Welcoming the Word in Year A, Verna A. Holyhead, SGS