As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.'”
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. Mark 1:1-13
Prepare the Way
When we have bundled up the leftovers
and packed away the beloved ornaments
swept out the needles from the floors
there is still more work to be done.
The Epiphany light twinkles at night
like crystal in the cold January reality
we light the flames of hope in darkness
carrying it to every shadowed heart.
Deep blues and darkness can move in
can break the celebrating spirits
the load of failure can obscure the gratitude
joy can slip away in these long winter nights.
Arise early and laugh into the night
prepare again the table for many guests
the world groans with anxiety and despair
our small candle can reignite the needed flame.
Dance into the pungent fetid alleyways
embrace the homeless sleeping rough
welcome the repellent and the refugee
open the doors so that God comes in.