Clearing the Way for Advent … the Brotherhood of John, son of Zechariah …

I confess up front the idea for “the Brotherhood of John” comes from Walter Wangerin’s chapter title in Preparing for Jesus, “An Exhortation: Daily to Join the Sisterhood of Mary.” Two of the RCL texts for this past Sunday, the Second Sunday in Advent, came from Malachi 3 and Luke 3. Reading these two passages left me thinking about the word prepare. The Luke passage quotes Isaiah 40. The picture brought to mind “clearing” more than “preparing.” The Greek word used in Luke may be translated “clearing.”

When you connect Luke with Malachi you get the sense the prophet sought to “clear” the minds of the people of God of faulty notions of both the promise of God and the character of God. There is little doubt John would inherit this same role in announcing the coming of Jesus. His preaching around the Jordan called for a “new way of thinking” about life as it related to the Kingdom of God. Old ways of thinking would need to be set aside or “cleared” from the mind in order to embrace the new thing God would do.

Today’s Advent celebrations/observances require us to “clear” the mind. We may have been enticed to buy into faulty notions about the coming of Jesus, the celebrations of this season, and/or our own self-understanding as it relates to the promise of God in Jesus. Certainly we could stand a few to join the “Brotherhood of John” to help others “clear” they way for the coming of Jesus to and for people.

Maybe we should issue a call to “Daily Join the Brotherhood of John, son of Zechariah.”


~ by Todd on December 12, 2006.

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