I can’t get John the Baptist out of my head. Normally in Advent there’s a reading about John the Baptist and I don’t think too much about him. Just the guy with the animal skins and honey and locusts. But this year, he got into me – what drove him out to the wilderness to preach renewal, change? Was it too dangerous to do so in the cities? Was it that subversive? Seriously, we today are always turning over a new leaf, always starting over, always renewing ourselves, re-creating ourselves. John’s message to change, to turn from bad ways, to turn toward renewal doesn’t seem a shocking message these days, right? Was it that different then?
It was radical and subversive to wash away sins and not be a priest, not be at the temple, not use purified (and expensive?) water, not giving an offering. John just went out to the wild, into the wild, went to the free and untamed river Jordon and used that water to wash people free of sin, to help them renew and turn around their lives. He broke their conventional ways, and the people flocked to him.
I can’t get him out of my head. What is it that I need to renew? What turn about is really possible for me? Can I let go my fears, anxiety – that seems so unlikely. What will be my Jordan river?
I’m starting a blog about bible study (and perhaps other stuff, such as friendly book reviews, as time goes on). I’m scared. I feel called. This is my turn-around, my move-my-feet, use-my-hands, help-my-neighbor.
For the glory of God!