Make way for the King! Ready Your hearts! Bring Your gifts! Grab the nearest palm branch to wave in deference and honor and adoration! Smooth the rough places and lay low the highlands! He will not be what You expect, but He is good! He will not bring You what You want, but He will give mercy! He will not issue You what You deserve, but rather He will model the ways of grace! Lay aside Your sacrifices of religiosity and rote and appeasement, and leave everything behind to walk with Him! Behold! The King approaches! The King of all kings, and the LORD of every lord! The sovereign One Who rules for the benefit of others and not only for Himself! The patient One Whose Love is everlasting, Whose kindness is steadfast, and Whose generosity is without fail! The King approaches! The King is coming near to us! The King is on His way!
i would Love to have heard John the Baptist preach. i grew up in a denomination that could hurl fire and brimstone upon unsuspecting strangers with the best of the crazy, New York, street preachers and the worst of the glitzy, West Coast, television evangelists, but i have a feeling that there was a certain ring of hope and a particular kind of humility in the words of John that likely escapes most preachers we know....
It is a simple beginning of humble origins, modest possibilities, and scarce hope. Since hope plays such a huge part in our story of our family – from Seth’s hope of hearing the LORD Most High despite the fall of his parents to Noah’s hope of surviving the flood to Avraham’s hope of a blood-heir to David’s hope of intimacy with the Almighty Daddy to Jeremiah’s hope of conversion to Daniel’s hope of rescue to Simeon’s hope of salvation, hope has been a thread weaving its way through our tapestry of narrative. we are on the cusp…it is – as the gospel writers say – “at hand” or almost “within reach." YHWH is almost ready to unleash upon the world the fury of Love that we can barely embrace and the severity of acceptance that dashes our insecurities at the cost of great personal discomfort.
And – while some of the more well-known and famous You may know – it both ends (as well as begins) with a humble girl and a righteous man. Maybe grandpa Avraham was right to argue for just a handful of the righteous after all….