December 10, 2017
Advent 2B
Mark 1: 1-8; Isaiah 40:1-11

 

The Second Sunday in Advent sends us out and into the wilderness. The prophet Isaiah writes, “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” And in the Gospel Mark tells us the story of John the Baptist, a wild man by description, who appears in the desert wilderness to announce the coming of the Christ

 

Truth be told, most of us don’t like the desert wilderness. It’s not a place we seek out. It’s a hard place to be, it’s a challenging place to be, it’s uncomfortable place to be, and it’s a dangerous place to be! The Gospel of Mark hints that even Jesus is not thrilled about going into the wilderness. After his baptism the author of Mark writes, “And the spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.”

 

So it is that Jesus wanders off, or is chased into, the wilderness to be tempted and tested for forty days.   And in those forty days something happens, there is some kind of transformation, because Jesus emerges proclaiming the coming of the kingdom of God. The desert wilderness is a place of preparation; a luminal place where life is transformed; a place where one’s calling “to prepare the way of the Lord” is received..

 

The season of Advent is not about making things pretty for Christmas, it’s not about consumerism, and it’s not about hanging lights on your house. Instead Advent calls us into the wilderness to discover who we really are, who God is, and how we might be a dynamic part of the kingdom that comes.

 

The challenge of Advent is to resist the urge to be comfortable and to seek out and embrace the wilderness in your life.

 

      1. Don't Rescue Me

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed
Don’t rescue me

 

I need someone who can do tough love
I need someone who can push and shove
Don’t need no one to hold my hand
I need some one who can kick me in the …

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed
Don’t rescue me

 

I need love with an attitude
I need peace that’s on the move
I need hope for a brand new day
I need to get up, get up and get on my way

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed
Don’t rescue me

 

I’ve been held before, and it was right
But right now I need someone
Who’ll teach me how to fight

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed (last time tag: set me free)
Don’t rescue me

 

I need someone who can capture a dream
I need someone who’s not afraid to scream
I need someone who can use a knife
Cut through the scars, open the wounds of my life

 

Don’t rescue me
I need somebody who will let me bleed (last time tag: set me free)
Don’t rescue me

 

 

May you be blessed this Advent with a desert wilderness experience that will make clear your great calling in life to “prepare the way of the Lord.” Amen.

 

 

If you like this devotion please share it with others via the Facebook button at the bottom of this page! This week’s song, albums, and other songs by Greg, are available on Bandcamp! Get the music free! Greg’s music is listed for “name your own price.” Just choose $0, and download the song or album.

https://gregronning.bandcamp.com/album/charity

 

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