In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” (Luke 3:1 – 2)

I tell you truthfully, beloved reader, I am stumped as to what to say. Of course the passage about John the Baptist fits into this week’s them of being at home and being faraway. And John, like his cousin Jesus, was faithful in living home and all that was familiar for a good, worthy, and Godly cause even unto death. But . . . not even a nuance of Advent seems to be there.

At some point during Advent we get reminded of what the birth of Jesus was leading up to. The stories of Simeon and Anna in the temple are reminders to the young Mary and Joseph that Jesus has a future unlike any other. And also in Advent we are told of John the Baptist’s auspicious birth, and that Mary comes to see Elizabeth which is the foreshadowing that points to this passage.

It is a fine point, keeping the boundaries between Advent & Christmas, and the rest of the church year. However, picking and choosing which passages and portions of passages to highlight and consequently ignoring others is not a wise decision in one’s faith life. John preached redemption; Jesus brought to humanity the means for permanent redemption. Even in Advent we get reminders of that.

“He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.'” (Verses 3 – 6)

It occurs to me, beloved reader, part of the problem may be we are viewing and considering this passage before another passage of this week that would shed light on why this passage is presented. Maybe, just maybe, that is where the Advent-ness lays. One had to wait and be patient to understand the significance of events. If that is so, let us re-visit this passage when the week has come to an end, and then look back at what we have read this week. Shalom & Selah as you wait!