We continue waiting for the birth of Jesus at Christmas, this week we hear in the readings that the Lord is coming and we need to prepare for him. Isaiah this week tells us that a voice cries out in the desert prepare the way of the Lord. Every mountain made low and the hills turn to dust the pathways will be made smooth and after all this then the Lord will be revealed to all mankind. Then Isaiah describes the Lord saying he is like a shepherd feeding the flock and gathering them carefully into his arms leading them home. This reading today has a handful of songs based on it. We should reflect upon the first part of this reading where everything must be level for the Lord to come. Advent is a great time to clean up our own lives and make room to welcome Jesus into our lives at Christmas.
We also hear from the Second letter of Peter, this is one of the catholic (universal) letters as it is not written to a specific person or location. Peter II is not written be the apostle Peter and it was the last book of the New Testament to be written, many scholars consider it to be less important than the other letters. In this reading we hear that the Lord will come at any time and to be at our best, we also have an explanation as to why we do not know the time, as many in the early church though that Jesus would be coming again soon, Peter explains that with the Lord a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. This really hits the nail on the head God is outside of time and can see it all from creation of the earth until it is swallowed up by the sun as it turns into a red giant. I have recently though of this as creation is an ongoing process and the world is being created a new each and every day that we are alive, hopefully for the better as we try to build the kingdom of God here on earth.
Finally we arrive at the beginning of Mark’s Gospel. It begins by quoting from Isaiah, A voice cries out from the desert “Prepare the way of the Lord!” then Mark talks about John the Baptist who was in the desert preaching about repentance, forgiveness of sins and baptizing people. Now John is made out to be a wild man clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt and he fed on wild honey and locusts. Let us be able to hear the cry of the modern day John who try to get us to go to confession. John the Baptist them tells us all that one mightier than I is to come and John is not worthy to loosen his sandals or baptize him for while John baptizes with water the one to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit and fire. I hope that we can all reflect on our baptisms and\or confirmations not as places to stop in our faith but as steps to help our faith lives grow deeper.