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4th December 2022

4th December 2022
December 6, 2022 Amy Walters

Before reading Matthew 3: 1-12 perhaps read the following monologue expressing what John the Baptist might have thought while out in the desert:

What a bleak place this is, right on the edge of everything. Yet I feel strangely close to God here. And it’s easy to feel close to our ancestors here too. It was a place just like this where they wandered for all those years. Right over there is the Jordan with its green banks. That’s where they crossed over to make a new start…


That’s what these baptisms are all about – making a new start. Well, it is for the ones who really mean it. But I’m not sure why some of them come. Maybe they just come to see ‘wild wacky John’ for themselves, or maybe they want to point the finger and criticise me. There are some who claim they are the special ones; that they have everything sussed out. Of, course, they never want to change anything about themselves – nothing  at all. They are foolish… or worse…

Making a new start – that’s what it’s about. And that seems to be what I’m all about as well. I’m here to ‘prepare a way in the wilderness’ as Isiah put it. To straighten things out ready for… well it’s not for me to say really. It’s not about me. No, its’s not about me at all. It’s about someone who’s about to arrive, someone much more important and powerful than I am. It’s about Jesus. And it won’t be long now, not long at all.’*


It often seems strange talking about John the Baptise as we start on our advent journey. Yet John came to point the way to Jesus, so perhaps as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ it is poignant to view who John was. He was a man of the wilderness, a reminder for the people of Israel of their roots. They had followed God via Moses leadership for over 40 years beginning a new life when they crossed over the Jordan. John here announces another new beginning, ‘the Kingdom of Heaven’. John has a powerful ministry, inviting people to find a new way to live, leaving their sin behind them. He understands his role is limited. He makes no false claims, he knows he is not the Messiah, and with real integrity makes it clear that someone even more powerful is on the way.


As we head into Advent we remember the birth of Christ, of a young girl and her beau, wandering the desert to find some where to stay; of shepherds and kings; of angels singing in the highest; of lowly animals watching on by. It is a story told down the generations.

How then, do we make our own advent journey relevant for us today?

How do we then make the narrative of over 2000 years ago relevant for those around us here and now in 2022?

How do we help others begin their own advent journey and bring them to understand the baby born to save the world, to save each one of us bringing a love for each beyondcompare?



Loving and Gracious God

For your call on John the Baptist’s life,

We praise you

For his call to us to change our mind and our ways,

We praise you.

For your sone Jesus, who calls us to serve him in your world today,

We praise you.

For calling each of us by name and for the fellowship of your church,

We praise you.

Today and everyday as we journey through Advent,

We praise you.



Loving Lord

As we journey through advent, retelling and understanding more of the nativity story,

Help us to see not just a tiny child born in poverty and need, but the way in which You need us to tell of how the Word became flesh to save the world.

Help us to create the narrative for today’s world, so that all can understand the glory of Your love.

Help us point the way to a Christmas story that will bring all to the glory and love of God, and the promise of eternal life.

Help us to live in the way Jesus has taught us, engaging with the stranger,  supporting the homeless and the refugee, feeding the poor and adapting to the needs of those around us.




*Roots (Nov/Dec 2022)