2nd Sun Advent C
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
Our local butcher shop had an advertising sign promoting this business as a “Lamb Boutique: Paris, Milan, Yeppoon.” Yes,,most of you are wondering, ‘Yeppoon, where is that?’ Imagine what the sign would look like in Blackall and you have the point of the opening sentence of this Gospel: incongruity. The names, offices and sometimes locations of six political and religious leaders are layered one on the other in sonorous tones building up a sense of public power and prestige and then in a sharp turn, common of Luke’s Gospel, the mighty are displaced. The reader is directed out into the wilderness to hear God’s Word coming through John. The wilderness! Where is the power and influence there? John? Who was he? Oh don’t worry those political and religious leaders will have their role to play and their power to exert. Herod is the one who orders John the Baptist’s execution, while Annas and Caiaphas orchestrate the death of Jesus. But in this long sentence we see just where true power and influence lie: in hearing the word of God and putting it into practice. Those powerful men named by Luke would not have believed it but then their belief in their power was not the truest reality.
What about us, living in a world saturated with a media that presents us with all the goings on of influential people? We can feel small, even useless in our world. Most of us seem to have no power to wield yet each and all of us have our own wilderness: those broken places of our hearts and our lives where we struggle with our demons. These are the places where the word of God comes to us. These are the places where God wants to fill in the valleys and lay low the mountains. Before God can truly do that in our lives, we have to accept how important the wilderness is in the ways of God. There what appears useless can abound with the true grace of God.