I returned yesterday for the first time since Eleanor’s birth to our weekly prayer

Altar @ Bread of Life

Altar @ Bread of Life

group at Bread of Life. The small group gathers each Thursday morning to pray over the coming Sunday’s lectionary text from the gospels.

This Sunday’s full text from Luke 3 is here. I was particularly drawn to verses 15-16:

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming…”

The people wondered whether John was the expectant Christ. They thought the Messiah had come. John was it. Notice, he doesn’t immediately negate their claim. Instead, he replies, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming.”

God is. And, God is coming.

God is continuously unfolding. Here. Not yet. Always already. Drawing near.

This is most real for me these days in my relationship with our new daughter. In preparing for her birth, holding her newborn life, swaddling her precious body, witnessing her first smile, watching her eyes fade to sleep, and giving her a bottle late into the night. With each moment, God is in our midst. Yet, more awaits.

God is. And, God is coming.

Luke states,

And the crowds asked John, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

John’s understanding of our task is concrete. He is clear regarding how we are to prepare our lives for God’s coming into the world. For those who are poor but have enough — share with others. For those who benefit from the oppressive hierarchy — be just. For the soldiers — be fair.

In preparing for the advent of God, may we be truly attentive to God’s in-breaking all around us. May we follow John’s way. Sharing with one another. Acting with justice and fairness.

God is. And, God is coming.