Co-written by: The Mercy Community
Reflection—v. 7, ‘the crowds that came out’
At Mercy we believe that everyone is a theologian. To believe something about God is to practice theology, and we should all have opportunities to contribute. We also believe it is important where you practice theology. John the Baptist proclaims his message from the wilderness—the margins. He is out on the fringes of acceptable society, urging people to listen to a radical message of change. Sometimes the streets feel a bit like a wilderness. Many of us live in food deserts, we walk and rest upon broken sidewalks others would rather avoid. But here in Atlanta’s wilderness, God reveals Godself to us, and we have things to say about the God who walks these streets alongside us. We are crying out, asking to be heard, acknowledged, and respected for the beloved human beings that we are. The Gospel says a crowd came out to listen to John. There were tax collectors, soldiers, and other prominent figures, and they came out to the wilderness because they believed John had something compelling to share. If the only voices you listen to are of those in positions of power and privilege, we invite you—no, we challenge you—to seek out other voices, too. If the only time you hear theology is in a classroom or stained-glass sanctuary, we invite you to listen to theology proclaimed in the wilderness. Sometimes we all must seek a perspective different from our own to truly repent and change our hearts and lives.
Prayer: Guide us, O Lord, to those wilderness places where you are being proclaimed.