Preparing For God’s Moment in Time and History

December 17, 2017

John the Baptist once again leads us into this week of Advent.  He is a voice crying out in the wilderness.  He is a voice which tells us to repent.  There is a story from long ago about two farmers talking about various animals.  The subject of a mule or donkey came up.  One noted that while they were exceptionally sturdy beasts, they were next to impossible to work with because they were so stubborn. “Not mine” the other farmer replied.  “In fact all I have to do is whisper gently into his ear and he will do exactly as I tell him.”  “I don’t believe it” the other farmer replied.  “Ok come and see”.  The two walked into the field where the mule was standing.  The farmer who owned this obedient donkey gentle whispered into its ear.  He then picked up a huge two by four, snuck up behind it and whacked it across the behind.  “Hold it” the other farmer cried out, “you claimed all you had to do was whisper in your animal’s ear and it would do anything.”  “That’s exactly correct” replied the farmer, “but first I had to get his attention”.

God is trying to get our attention.  He longs to clothe us in the robe of glory as the Prophet Isaiah says.  He longs for us to receive blessing upon blessing overflowing, but first He must get our attention.  John the Baptist comes into the world to proclaim the good news of salvation. He is in the desert in order to get our attention.  He plunges people into the River Jordan to awaken their bodies to new life; he shocks them with his direct words.

How is God trying to get our attention?   How is God trying to create a history with us that leads us to the Kingdom?  The wakeup call is here.  John the Baptist is leading the way.  The question is, “Will we follow?”

Reverend John J. Ouper