This week we hear the prophet Malachi and John the Baptist give a shout out to the good news that is coming with Jesus (Malachi 3:1-4 & Luke 3:1-6). The good news of God's plan for restoration of creation, justice and peace. We are called to prepare to receive this magnificent promise.
During our worship service we will sing the Gospel Canticle from the Morning Prayer liturgy called the Song of Zechariah. In Zechariah's song, John is the one to prepare God's people for the coming salvation, and lead them in to forgiveness,which implies that they will respond to John’s message and follow him into the restoration he promises.
In Luke's Gospel the narrative of John’s coming speaks of John’s call to the people to repent and be baptized in preparation for the coming one. The message this week is this: God is always coming, always available to God’s people, and always working for restoration. But, receiving God’s coming takes preparation, and so God sends a messenger to do this work, to prepare God’s people for God’s coming.
The challenge is for us to embrace the work of preparation for ourselves – opening ourselves to God’s restoring, cleansing and disturbing work, and making our hearts ready for us to become, in turn, messengers of God’s restorative justice and mercy to the world.
I am so grateful for you and this community - it is a beautiful gift of God for us and for our world - let's not take it for granted.