Find Your Place This Advent (Second Advent)

As John the Baptiser preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptising you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism – a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit – will change you from the inside out”. (Mark 1: 7 – 8)

It all begins with a cry in the wilderness. In the amazing Musical The Lion King (both on stage and on screen, the action opens with the piercing wake-up call of Rafiki, the wise old baboon, who calls all the animals of the kingdom to take their place in the circle of life. The slow, insistent gathering of the animals is a powerful symbol of how every creature responds to the one call. Today we read the opening lines of the gospel of Mark, which begins similarly, with the wise and wild John the Baptist calling all who would
listen to take their place in the reign of God. It’s a wake-up call, a voice crying out in the wilderness. Prepare the way.

At the culmination of this opening number of The Lion King, all the animals of the jungle have gathered and focused on the king and on the arrival of the king’s son, who is held high above all the other creatures. The culmination of John the Baptist’s preaching was to focus everyone on the will of God and to point to God’s son, Jesus, the one “who is mightier than I”. In each scenario, all creatures gain a reference point beyond themselves and a focus that lets them know who they are and how they are to live.

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