Second Advent

The Introduction 

If Jesus is the Lamb of God, John the Baptist is the wolf. He stands alone as an inter-testamental figure, more like the prophets of the Hebrew scriptures than the evangelists of Christianity. There is no evidence that he ever became a disciple of Jesus. In fact, the evidence points to his retaining his own following up to the time of his execution. He is the finger of God, pointing to the new revelation, but he stands apart from it, howling out warnings about the scourge to come.

John was no prophet of gentle messages, of love and forgiveness. He came to drown the devil in the flesh, and raise up a nation of spirit prepared to meet its Maker. He lived in the wild, dressed and ate like a wild man. He hurled untamed words at the powerful people of his day, and they trembled. He was raw authority, and many people walked into the Jordan, convinced by his charisma or afraid of his warnings. In the end, the wolf of God would decrease, as the Lamb would increase. For only a brief hour, they browsed together, sharing the message, “The reign of God is at hand”.

Name figures in Christianity today like John the Baptist. Do you find them appealing?

Be a wolf in faith: live your convictions unflinchingly and publicly. Be a lamb: bring peace, patience, and the willingness to dialogue with those who see the vision of church differently than you do.

The Scripture (Matthew 3:1-2) The Proclamation of John the Baptist

While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptiser,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kingdom is here”.

The Connection

Find Your Place This Advent

It all begins with a cry in the wilderness. In the amazing musical The Lion King (both on stage and on screen), the action opens with the piercing wake-up call of Rafiki, the wise old baboon, who calls all the animals of the kingdom to take their place in the circle of life. The slow, insistent gathering of the animals is a powerful symbol of how every creature responds to the one call.

This week we read the opening lines of the gospel of Mark, which begins similarly, with the wise and wild John the Baptist calling all who would listen to take their place in the reign of God. It’s a wake-up call, a voice crying out in the wilderness. Prepare the way. At the culmination of this opening number in The Lion King, all the animals of the jungle have gathered and focused on the king and on the arrival of the king’s son, who is held high above all the other creatures.

The culmination of John the Baptist’s preaching was to focus everyone on the will of God and to point to God’s son, Jesus, the one “who is mightier than I”. In each scenario, all creatures gain a reference point beyond themselves and a focus that lets them know who they are and how they are to live.

How are we using our time?

The Commissioning

Go from here as those who have heard the Baptist.
We will search for simplicity;
we will be ready to repent;
we will be prepared to receive God’s Promised One;
we will know the joy of encountering Jesus Christ.
Go from here as those who have heard the Baptist.


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