‘The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'”
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.’
Reflection : For the past two Sundays my sermons have included encouragement to call upon the Holy Spirit. What I failed to mention is that when we call upon the power of the Lord, we may well find ourselves in completely new situations and environments. Often these places will be uncomfortable and awkward.
Yesterday I had a meeting with a very wealthy and influential individual. As I traveled to the meeting I prayed, ‘ come Holy Spirit, show me the way.’ The meeting went off the rails quickly when the specific reason to meet with him was rejected. It sure got uncomfortable! But then we started talking about other matters, I believe led by the Spirit of God, and it turned out to be amazing.
Come Holy Spirit, come. Especially when it becomes uncomfortable.