By: Chad Hyatt
Reflection—v. 1, ‘preaching in the wilderness’
Every Advent, John the Baptist comes to us preaching like a wild man. We faithfully—or perhaps only dutifully—listen to the report of his prophetic actions and preaching. But I wonder if we really hear him. I wonder, amid all of our comforts, if it is even possible for us to hear him. No matter how much the good news may challenge us, it is still good news—and there is still hope for us to hear it faithfully. But to do so will require us to give up our comfort. Like those who intially heard John, travelling no small distance to do so, we must go out from what we know—and into the wilderness—if we want to hear what God is saying. For those of us living in the North American context, the wilderness is the margins of our political, economic, and social systems. In Atlanta, the streets are our wilderness. If we are going to hear and respond to John’s message, we have to be willing to go to the margins, to discover the places and the people that our systems have left outside. Only then can we, like Israel of old, hear a genuine word of hope.
Prayer God of the wilderness, you call us to yourself and out of our comfort.