This call to have a change of heart continues to serve as challenge to us particularly during this season of Advent. What areas of our life are we supposed to be more aware that need to be changed and to be touched by the power of God’s love and mercy? Can we recall our mission when we were baptized that we are to turn away from Satan and the allure of sin? It is obvious that this call to conversion is a lifelong project. What then are habits, attitudes, and relationships that remain unbaptized? What are our actions that continue to distance us from God? However, there is some problem at times in that we want God’s help and comfort but we are not prepared to change our ways, not prepared for a genuine conversion. For God to come to us, we also need to go to Him.
A significant detail then is the image of the desert which is important in Scripture. It is a holy place, a place where God is specially to be found. It is also a place of struggle. It was in the desert that the Israelites spent 40 years on their way to the Promised Land. It was in the desert that Jesus had his struggle with the Evil One. It was in the desert that Jesus often went to pray and in the desert that he fed the people.
In the same manner, there is a call for us to go and stay in the desert of our, hearts where we can communicate with God. In that seemingly lifeless and empty space, may we find inspiration in the beautiful prayer of Paul to the Philippians: that your love may increase ever more …. so that you may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ filled with the fruit of righteousness…”
To be filled with righteousness becomes vital in the context of our preparation for Christmas and the coming of the Lord into, our own lives. Christmas is not simply the commemoration of a historic event, in the distant past. It is a time for reflection and personal renewal about the coming of Jesus into our life, into the life of our Christian communities and into our wider society.
If we find ourselves constantly in the company of our Lord, then we will be at peace in spite of storms raging around us. For us, the Day of the Lord holds no fears. For us, every day is Christmas and that is what makes Christmas so special to us. For us, ever y day is a Day of the Lord.
John is indeed a role model for us whose call of repentance is something that we can take as a challenge as we prepare for the coming of Jesus more deeply in our lives. John knew something about Christ and he was humble enough to point out to all of us the true and only Messiah.