“The word of God came to John”. Luke 3:2
It’s just a part of the story. It might be quickly overlooked. The word of God came to John. He didn’t hunt it down. He didn’t seek it out- except that he was in the wilderness. That is a place known for being hard, challenging and a place to encounter the Holy One. And the word of God came to John. It wasn’t his word- it was a word that came to him that he shared.
In the video from Godspell above the actor playing the role of John the Baptist or John the Baptizer is sharing the word he has heard. That word is now coming to others. The bible shares how Abraham, Solomon, Jehu, Elijah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others also received the word of the Lord. It came to them, they shared it and our sacred scripture recounts what they heard. The word of Lord that was given was meant to be shared.
When the word of the Lord comes - it comes to all sorts of people in all sorts of places. How about for you? When has the word of God come to you? Here is the link to the Soul Pancake video on sharing Gratitude that we have spoken of in our Advent worship. People write a letter about someone who has been really important to them and then share what impact that had on their lives, along with their gratitude. In these encounters people got to hear about how who they were and how they lived changed the life of another person.
God is speaking all the time to us and through us. We don’t really get to know if the people with whom John the Baptizer shared the word of God thanked him but we do know they followed him. They were drawn to hear the message he shared. He pointed to the One who was to come after him- Jesus-the Messiah. The word of God that came to him -sent him out into the world to share it.
That’s one of the things that the word of God does- it sends us out. It also comforts us and convicts us. It calls out our missing the mark, calling us to turn in a different direction when we are on a path that leads away from God. The word of God reminds us of God’s presence and God’s promises to be with us always. The word of God calls us to practice neighbor love seeking goodness and justice for our neighbors. The word of God calls us to prayer, to worship, to practices of generosity. The word of God comes to us.
As we spend these days preparing for Christmas- what is the word of God that is coming to you? How are you being called to share it? It may be that the word of God that comes to you is shared more fully in your practices than in your preaching- in kindness, generosity, speaking out for justice for your neighbor, offering a listening ear to someone alone and in need. God is still speaking.
This Advent season I invite you to ponder for yourself “are you listening?” And then as you listen how are you being called to follow in preparing the way of the Lord? Blessings on your Advent journey.