Readings: Isaiah 40:1-11; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8

A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,

Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Isaiah 40:3

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

See, I am sending a messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way;

The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord, Make his paths straight.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins… Mark 1:1-4

Why do I expect the miraculous to be blatantly, glaringly obvious? Super size and high volume don’t guarantee anything other than a long shadow and temporary hearing loss. So why do I expect God’s messenger to be a rock star, crowd pleaser, larger-than-life superman?

John wasn’t powerful among the religious leaders. He didn’t wear expensive clothes or dine at the finest restaurants, he had no army and no money. He just gave witness to God’s presence in this world and saw in Jesus God-With-Us. That’s more than enough: that’s a miracle.

Would I recognize John if I passed him on the street? Would I hear his voice? Would I listen?

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

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I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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