During this season of Advent we call to mind the teaching of the prophets, who foresaw the inbreaking of the Messianic Kingdom into our world–a kingdom of goodness, peace, and prosperity. John the Baptist has a similar message, announcing that, in Jesus, the Kingdom of God has come among us. This is great cause for hope.
When the disciples of the Baptist ask him if he is the Promised One, he tells them that one mightier than he is coming with power and authority. He is the one who will be the presence of the Almighty among us.
John preached to ordinary, everyday people, like us, who wanted to know how to be faithful. His message to them was simple–live good and faithful lives. That is also cause for hope. It is also a good message for us during this time of year when we are bombarded by the attractions of consumerism.
This is a time to stay focused on the basics: Christ is close at hand; sin and evil will not have the last word; Jesus came to reveal to us our own goodness and God’s love for us. The Kingdom of God is in our midst. We are a people of hope.
“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; he will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love.” (Zephaniah 3:17)