Advent Reflection – Matthew 3.1-12

John the Baptist. Our first encounter with him is via Elizabeth’s womb. We render that scene rather impotent by restricting John to a leap. I’ve never heard a pregnant woman use that word. Maybe kick, grind, push, wrench, thrust. But leap? No. Then he emerges years later as one living in the womb of wilderness. And we restrict him again to words like risky and dangerous, words which we use today to describe the bad boys and girls of Hollywood. How laughable. No, he was wild. But even more than that. John was a brief and harsh winter. His scriptured voice still kicks against the opening, pushes from the margins, wrenches toward the light. John doesn’t care about our poetry, our platform, our missional strategy, the number of conferences we’ve attended or headlined, our ministry legacy, our theological colors, or how many followers or friends we just know we have. 

The advent of John is an omen. His message? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Or as he would cry today: If you’re sorry, then live like it. If not, brace yourself. For another perspective on this passage be sure to visit Winn’s place – http://winncollier.com.

 
When he saw the many coming
John did not varnish his opinion.
     Snake bastards! Your guff isn’t
     worth a descendant’s damn here!
It was swellings like that when
the baptizer broke his banks that
illuminated the Jordan with a deep
freeze the people had not felt before.
John was a brief and harsh winter.
The advent of the ineffable light was
yet to wade into the manuscript.
John would soon be silent and say
     Behold, the Lamb of fire who will
     melt the marrow of the world.
 
art-blue-christmas-dark-light-lights-Favim.com-104588 

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3 Comments

  1. Diana Trautwein on December 10, 2013 at 4:51 am

    Now see, I always thought of the Baptizer as a blazing hot summer, torching the landscape as he passed by. Maybe we’re both right. Or neither of us. Whichever – I’m glad to think about him for a bit tonight. Thank you.

  2. Susan Irene Fox on December 10, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    The phrase, “when hell freezes over,” just popped into my mind. Perhaps he was giving us an idea of exactly what it would be like if we passed on repentance, never to experience the heat of the Lamb to warm us from the wintry world outside. I’m taking a particular liking to the thoughtfulness of these dual posts. 🙂

  3. Rebekah Grace on December 10, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Very good stuff here, John! I loved this specifically, “His scriptured voice still kicks against the opening, pushes from the margins, wrenches toward the light. John doesn’t care about our poetry, our platform, our missional strategy, the number of conferences we’ve attended or headlined, our ministry legacy, our theological colors, or how many followers or friends we just know we have.”

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