December 13, 2018
DANIELLE LODGE ’20
PSALMS 18, 147:12-20; ISAIAH 7:1-9; 2 THESSALONIANS 2:1-12; LUKE 22:1-13
Waiting can usually be thought of as a passive, immobile action but in reality, you are always doing something, preparing for something ahead while waiting for its arrival. This idea of actively waiting has been in place since before the coming of Jesus as God sent John the Baptist to ensure the world was prepared to receive Jesus when he arrived. He leaves John and the people instructions on how to wait and prepare through Old Testament scriptures. The fulfillment shows that Jesus is the promise of the new kingdom of God by highlighting the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises. Mark portrays John the Baptist as the precursor and Jesus as the fulfillment of such prophecy by drawing parallels between what is written in Isaiah and the life of Jesus. Here, he foreshadows that Jesus is the hope for salvation for those who are suffering but that the world wouldn’t be prepared for his arrival without the actions of John the Baptist. The wilderness here also references back to the Old Testament. Although it could be thought of as a time of wandering, homelessness and despair, it also was a place of preparation for the arrival to the promise land and the goodness of God’s grace to the people.
Advent emphasizes this idea of waiting for Jesus to bring the fullness and goodness of the Kingdom to Earth. It often seems like we are living in the wilderness, whether it be from the stories of violence, brutality, and hatred that we hear about on the news or even our own wilderness of feeling lost, unknown, and unworthy in our academic or social lives. However, advent reminds us that there is a purpose for this wandering and waiting. The arrival of Christmas reaffirms the promise of Jesus and the fulfillment of a new light, new love, and new kingdom to the world. We can be thought of as the John the Baptists of this time period between the now and not yet, called to wait, not in idleness but in preparation for the coming again of Jesus. Now we have the New Testament and a new promise of Jesus as our instruction manual. We are charged to prepare the world through the delivery of the good news. So, during this advent season don’t be afraid to wait in the wilderness, knowing that the goodness and fullness of God through Jesus Christ is surely coming.