|ps from ps…
“Prepare the way! Someone greater is coming after me!” – John the baptizer in the desert.
Preparing for what? Greater to do what? And when will it happen?
I just think a lot about the people that went out to see/hear John preach. He was “different.” Probably really different. Dressed weird. Eating strange food. Preaching from a bizarre place. Today we might label him “nut job” or mentally ill or crazy preacher man, slap a label on him and we probably would pay him no mind.
But back then, they still went. From Jerusalem and the Judean countryside. All the way out to the “wilderness” to hear something new. Something hopeful. Something intriguing. Something worth the trip and sorely needed. Something to help them figure out “when.”
They were exiles on many levels. They were separated from something important. They were waiting for someone, a Messiah….THE Messiah, to show up and fix everything that was out of whack. Out of sorts. Imperfect. And bring God’s reign. God’s perfection. God’s kingdom of heaven that breaks in and becomes/is that balm that they so badly needed. They had heard from so many others that it was going to happen at some point. Wouldn’t it be great if they could schedule it actually happening? Set their watches to it?
Wouldn’t it be great if we could?
I remember going to see Old Faithful as a kid on our family’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation” trip out west. Old Faithful: that geyser erupts 20 times a day and is only a max of a few minutes off schedule each time. That’s incredible! Predictable. On time. Expected. You can set your watch to it!
Was that what they went into the wilderness to find? Old Faithful? Were they finally going to get some answers from the crazy preacher with the weird clothes that ate weird things?
As John shared his words, I wonder if they were as amazed as I was as a little kid in front of that geyser? That every so often, something was going to “erupt.” Something incredible. Not of my making. Not of my scheduling. Not of my fully understanding of what was happening below the surface. But something “greater” was going on. One that was Greater. Right on (God’s) schedule!
And so they returned from the wilderness to their towns. Their villages. Their countrysides. Their jobs working. Their families doing. Their Thursdays unfolding. Their exiles ending. Their vaccine waiting. Their pandemic end hoping. Their lost loved ones grieving. Their racism end waiting. Their politics dividing. Their separated relationships yearning. Their watches still not setting. Their Advent….waiting.
And yet while they returned to all of that, they could still hear his voice, remember his look, feel his invitation and sense his truth: Prepare. A way. For THE Way. One is coming. Greater than I. Greater than THIS. Greater than. Right on (God’s) schedule.
Lord, help me to prepare for that Way. Amen
Still in One Peace,