adviento: juan el bautista

Love cries from a stable trough,
His passion foretold.
Still, we make ready
For a world fashioned anew.

Late in the third week of advent, we turn to John the Baptist, neither a reed shaken by the wind nor dressed in soft robes, as Jesus bitingly points out many years later as John is imprisoned.

I can't tell you much about John's role in Latin American spirituality but since I arrived back in the UK the talk and action has all been about getting ready as are this week's readings. John wasn't arrested for excessive last minute shopping, or taking liberties with Nigella's Christmas pudding. No, John was arrested for his mad crazy rants. He was locked up for freaking everyone out, for bawling the crowds out of their comfortable (mince pie induced) haze. Get ready, he told them, coz it's all about to kick off.

So how do we make ready for Christmas?

John gives us a few tips:
"Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise."

"Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you."

"Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."(Luke 3.10-14)

That'll do for starters.

This week's readings are available online here.