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Every pilgrimage begins at a particular time and place, a moment in history, and a geographical location. Our Advent pilgrimage begins in a dark location, in troubled times. The people of Israel held onto the flickering hope that their promised Messiah would soon appear to redeem all of God’s creation as foretold by the Old Testament prophets.
But God had been silent for four hundred years.
And then, all of a sudden, out of the darkness came John the Baptist…a strange man with an incredible message.
John the Baptist is the first, and one of the most important, characters we will meet on our Advent Pilgrimage. John steps into history at the fulcrum between the ages. John is the “Messenger” foretold by Malachi at the end of the Old Testament. John stands at the center of cosmic time to announce that God is on the move, the NEW age of God’s Kingdom is very near…
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me.” -Malachi 3:1
For lo, the days
are hastening on
By prophets seen of old
When with the
Shall come the time foretold
When peace shall
over all the earth
Its ancient splendors fling
And the whole world
give back the song
Which now the angels sing
from “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”
Our Advent pilgrimage is also a good time for each of us to locate ourselves in our own time and place. Take a moment to ponder…
Where do I find myself today?
Does my current location seem dark to me? How so? If not, where do I see light?
If I looked, where might I see God in my current location?
These are the compass points for a pilgrim’s journey:
Willingness to open ourselves to God
Eyes searching for God along the way
Incorporating habits that keep us conscious of God every day.