Good News in a Wilderness Year - #slowadvent

Created by Annette Cater

This has been a tough year, a wilderness year. For some wilderness is a place of fear and death; for some peace and stillness; for others where you go to discover God anew, to know again who we are in God and what is ours to do. Whatever our experience or understanding of wilderness, some good news would be welcome.

The writers of Second Isaiah (Isaiah 40-66) offered good news to those who lived in the wilderness in exile. Jerusalem and her temple were gone. They were forsaken by God. But here was good news. What good news for us do we hear in these words?

A number of commentators suggest an alternative understanding of the first line of Mark. It is the title, not the first sentence. The whole of Mark is the beginning of THE Good News. Good News shaped by Isaiah. Good News lived by Jesus. We are part of that ongoing Good News. It has been hard to hang on to that this year. We feel like the grass that withers, or those flowers that fade. The world is in chaos. Pandemics reign. The world as we knew it has ground to a halt. The climate is changing. Economies are crumbling. We seem powerless in the face of all that is happening.

And then there is John the Baptiser. His voice comes from the wilderness. He stands as Elijah. He invites us back to our true place. He reminds us that hope is not found in the way things used to be. Nor is peace. Peace is found when we let go as John let go. He reminds us that Peace is found in simplicity, humility, servanthood. Peace is found in the radical call of the Jesus. Peace is found in God’s faithfulness to the renewal of creation through the restoration of humanity, made and living as the image of God the loving creator.

Advent is an important season. It is so much more than preparing for Christmas. It is about hearing Good News. It is about becoming Good News. It is about nurturing hope, peace, joy, and love in our lives. And that needs time. A friend is advocating for a #Slow Advent. A way of living that seeks to not let Advent be so easily cluttered with shopping, end-of-year stuff, and preparing-for-summer-holidays. He says , “Slow Advent is saying – less is more: live Advent slowly, and try to add less. As Slow Food is to Fast Food – so Slow Advent is to most people’s Fast “Season of Advent”.[1]

In our wilderness may we live slowly into Good News and be people of hope, peace, joy, and love.



[1] Bosco Peters <https://liturgy.co.nz/slowadvent>

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