Baruch 5:1-9; Philippians 1:3 6 & 8 it Luke 3:1-6
DV ENT IS a journey into God. We ourselves arc the starting point. John the Baptist is our guide. His voice speaks into our hearts, confronting our lives with the call to repentance, encouraging us with the promise of salvation.
Fn one respect the journey of The soul is no. different frotn any other journey. If we are to arrive safely, we intist first familiarize ourselves with the geography that lies ahead. John provides us with our starting point. He is a voice crying out in the wilderness.
During Advent we look intb ourselves, mapping out our own feelings and emotions. With humility and honesty we ask where we stand in relationship to God and his will. Such honesty will often reveal an unredeemed wilderness deep within our hearts.
The many demands of life pull us in different directions. Frailty and sin lead us along confusing paths. Where God had once been the centre of our lives, we find ourselves adrift. We begin to lose all sense of direction. This is a true wilderness of the spirit. one that we will frequently encounter.
The Scriptures today give us hope. We are not abandoned to make our own way out of the wilderness, guided only by our own confusion. The love of God reaches into the depths of this personal wilderness, searching us out.
Children are prone to get lost. We will often instruct them that, should they get lost, they should stay still in the same place, patiently waiting until we find them. During Advent we acknowledge our wilderness. It is not for us to "find" God. A listening faith remains still, trusting that God himself will come to us, and from the heart of our wilderness will lead us to himself.
0 MN WHEN We are ,i ill, finding the time lor prayer, can we touched by the God who comes to meet us.
In the stillness of prayer, we become aware of the mountains that selfishness puts between ourselves and God.
We experience the valleys that we have created, hiding ourselves from God. God seeks us out in our valleys and mountains, becoming Himself the straight path that we have lost.
The prophet Baruch puts into words the longing of Our hearts.
Long ago the people of Israel had been burdened by the weight of their sin. They had experienced life as a bereavement, cutting them off from God and all that they had hoped for. Sometimes we experience a similar sense of inner bereavement, longing for the familiar presence of God.
During Advent God speaks to the sadness of our isolation. He calls us to himself.
"Take off your dress of sorrow and distress, put on the beauty of the glory of God... for God has decreed the flattening of every high mountain, the filling of the valleys... so that you can walk in safety under the glory of God."
Let us be still, that God may find us, and lead us in his paths.