On the edge of the wilderness there is a putrid and undrinkable flow of water which people entered in a rite that symbolized their recognition that they needed a cleansing and renewal of life that only God could provide. Jesus came and entered those waters – not for any cleansing or life He did not need – but to enter and respond to our great need – focusing on His eventual journey to Jerusalem and the cross and making Holy Baptism the Sacrament we all need.
It is easy in a 21st Century Kroger to forget the role the farmers played in providing the food we’re buying – even easier to forget God’s role – but living in the barren, resourceless wilderness with every one of your necessities being provided through one of God’s miracles it is no wonder Moses and the people learned to live by faith in God alone. I look at the wilderness – whose image is always with me - and it becomes the great example of life devoid of natural and human resources where life can only be sustained and empowered through Divine Grace. The spiritual and eternal metaphor is even more powerful – reminding us that even in the world’s wilderness all flesh shall see The Salvation of God..
“Precisely because a person cannot by himself or herself live there, it is a place where faith is tested: it is in the desert that the people have to choose whether they will put their trust in God Who has so often proved His might or whether grumbling and impatient at having to depend only on God’s Grace, they return ‘to Egypt’.”
³ — to an unsatisfying status quo whose only benefit is their familiarity with it.
We enter the wilderness in those times in life when we feel empty, unfulfilled, abandoned, totally without answers or resources.
We have all been there and we have no trouble remembering our time there. Maybe some of us are there now.
And 21 centuries ago, God entered the wilderness the world He created had become as The vulnerable flesh and blood Christ to save us and to lead us out of the wilderness into God’s Eternal Kingdom.
Into the wilderness of moral confusion … into the wilderness of evil and misguided leadership in church and state … into the wilderness where God’s rule and benevolence are rarely recognized — into that wilderness in His past coming Jesus was born in Bethlehem and in the undrinkable waters of the wilderness began a three year journey to the cross and our Salvation.
In the spiritual wilderness world where answers are scarce, God shows a world searching for meaning and purpose that before we can get right with ourselves and our world we need to get right with God - shows a confused and often mislead world its need for Jesus and what only He can give. That’s why God entered the wilderness as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ — to get us right with God now and eternally.
In the existence of individual human beings - and in the existence of nations - life without Christ is a wilderness where death reigns supreme. In Jesus Christ, life has meaning, our behavior has genuine integrity, it all makes sense, and and we know we are being lead out of the wilderness to enter God’s Eternal Kingdom.
Prepare The Way of The LORD – to celebrate in the depths of your soul that all flesh has seen the salvation of God.
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS – GOD IN OUR WILDERNESS – OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOR. AMEN.
Second Sunday in Advent
December 9, 2018
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio