Lent & Advent

Advent 2020 – December 13

Jim Hopkins

December 10, 2020

On Three Words: Voice, Cry, Wilderness
Jim Hopkins
(Rev. Dr. H. James Hopkins is Senior Pastor of Lakeshore Avenue Baptist Church, Oakland, CA)

Luke 1:23a
“I am a voice crying in the wilderness, Make the Lord’s path straight.”

John stood proudly in the biblical tradition. He stood in the tradition of Moses who led the people to freedom toward an understanding of what it meant to be the people of God. He stood in the tradition of Elijah who knew what it was like to feel alone and afraid even as God’s words poured from his mouth.

Consider John’s use of the words voice, cry and wilderness. Like John himself these are words that are central to the biblical story.

It is God’s voice that calls forth the created order. It is God’s voice that calls Abraham to journey to a distant land. It is God’s voice that calls the exiles home from Babylon.

When the people are enslaved in Egypt they cry out in pain, they cry out for liberation. God hears their cry. God is moved by their cry. When Job’s friends insult him rather than encourage him, he cries to God for a hearing, a face to face meeting. God responds to Job’s cry.

After the people are liberated from Egypt God leads them into the wilderness. In the wilderness God instructs them. In the wilderness God provides for them. In the wilderness they come to understand the God will never leave them or forsake them.

Voice. Cry. Wilderness. John’s words. Important words. Advent words.