In the beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way” ...
“a voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the LORD,
make straight paths for him.’”
And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
What had it been like, in that beginning of good news, LORD? Your Voice had been silent for so long – four hundred years without “a word.” Suddenly You were there, a voice in the wilderness, calling “a people” – heart by heart, to repentance.
It is beyond our sensibilities today, even to image. We aren’t longing after a silenced voice. We don’t know it even missing … though the haunting rooster’s cry stirs a remembrance.
Would we come flocking today? Or, so seeped in self-sufficiency’s satisfaction, would we not even lift a brow, not even attempt to tune ‘our station’ to the unknown voice of one calling in the wilderness? Would we see our sin? Or turn away? Confess it? Or cling tightly to the news of our making?
A rooster crows, again. And I shudder.
How we need Your voice. How I need Your voice, among the myriad of imposters speaking a hope that is no hope at all, speaking a hope that at its heart speaks death.
Knowing that, You came, clothed in scarlet obedience that the Voice might dwell in me.
But we, we are not looking for “One more powerful than I” … nor feeling need of change. Too busy looking to be served, our hearts don’t stoop at other sandals to untie. Nor are hearts willing to embrace a watery grave, that we might rise a new creation.
(Reflections 3 September 2006 by DeAnna L. Brooks)