Read John 1:19-28.
2020 has been a year of crying out. We have cried out for the lives lost to COVID-19. We have cried out for the black lives lost to police brutality and racial injustice. We have cried out for our earth and its people as wild fires and hurricanes ravage our communities. And on, and on, and on.
And here in John’s gospel, we see John the Baptist, who also cries out: “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” John the Baptist is clear about who he is and what he doing. He is preparing the way for a new world in which God comes to us in human form, and overturns the status quo of political and spiritual disenfranchisement.
Despite the millenniums between us, the world that John the Baptist speaks to feels eerily similar to our own: vast wealth disparities in which a few hold the majority of the wealth and capital; social and political structures that disparage folks on the margins; even rampant disease.
But in the example of John the Baptist, I think we find a kindred spirit as we respond to the chaotic time in which we live. When we cry out against injustice, we are doing something similar; we are naming the ways in which we are not living up Christ’s calling to protect the least of these, and failing to live as though Christ is the ruler of our lives. We are crying out for a better world. This is a holy cry.
May we find strength in our spiritual ancestor, who helped to usher in the reign of Christ. May we continue to do so in our cries today. Amen.
Rev. Elizabeth Doolin