Pastor’s Corner – December 10, 2023

The Voice in the Wilderness 

Mark 1:1-8

What is propaganda but gaslighting? It is a form of abuse and violence to truth and reality. We’ve been bombarded with social media vying for attention. It’s hard to discern what is true and what is really going on in our world. We need to put issues in historic context that’s been tested through time and listen to the witnesses that have direct experiences to the very sources of which propaganda and news outlets claim their views. The court is in session, will the witnesses please stand and give us testimonies! 

John the Baptist gives his testimony; the voice in the wilderness preparing the way of the Lord. 

What led the Baptist and others like him into the wilderness? Why leave the comfort of home and family to a barren land where you are vulnerable to hunger and thirst? Maybe the question is not so much what led them to the wilderness but what pushed them out there? To live under Roman occupation and its imperial rule was suffocating and dehumanizing. There were military checkpoints to enter and exit their holy sites and communities. The daily humiliation was unbearable and people were in destitute abject poverty. Inevitably there were occasional disruptions of resistance or rebellion by militants, also known as zealots, who were easily crushed under Roman military might. At the height of the uprising Jerusalem was besieged and destroyed in 70 AD. The city was utterly destroyed and people displaced into diaspora. 

It’s in this historic apocalyptic context that John appears this coming Sunday. “I am the voice crying out in the wilderness, ‘prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'”

The voice in the wilderness is haunting and discomforting because it questions everything, we know to be true, realizing that we’ve been fed with lies about what is true. No one is innocent. Our complacency doesn’t do anyone good,” repentance and forgiveness” was John’s message. What does all this mean? How does all this relate to us today? Where is the good news? 

Come, let us worship God and realign our hearts with God’s heart for our world, let us prepare the way for our Lord during this Advent season. Amen. 

Pastor Dae