Today is the Second Sunday of Advent. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 3, we read about John the Baptist. As Matthew tells us, he is the one about whom the prophet Isaiah wrote, “A voice of one crying out in the desert: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’ ” That’s really what Advent is all about…preparing the way, preparing our hearts for the Lord.
In today’s world, we need more John the Baptists, more voices crying out in the wilderness. I can imagine some of what John must have gone through. I’m sure that the bulk of the people of his time looked at him as some kind of oddball. The funny clothes, the strange diet, always going on about God this and God that. He was marginalized, persecuted and eventually killed for doing what God called him to do: stand up for the truth.
As Christians, it would behoove us to feel like John the Baptist more often. Why? Because we should be acting – and speaking – more like him! Not necessarily with the clothes and the diet, but willing to proclaim the truths of God without compromise. Willing to stand up in our desert (the current culture) and unashamedly calling ourselves and others to “prepare the way of the Lord.” It was probably a tough gig for John. It is a tough gig for us. Are you up for it?
Father, give us the strength and courage to follow the example of John the Baptist. To proclaim to the world, “Prepare the way of the Lord!” Amen.