John the Baptist leapt for joy in his mother’s womb when Elizabeth received a visit from Mary. He was the Forerunner; the one who said that the Messiah was coming. He is the one who pointed to Jesus and called Him the Lamb of God. He was the one who lived as a radical prophet, wearing animal skins and eating locusts and demanding a radical change in the way people lived. Our generation likes to close both its eyes and ears to this aspect of John’s life, but it is this aspect, this demand for continual and radical change, that has fascinated people for centuries. We seem to let the sentimentality of Christmas get in the way of John’s prophetic call to repent. Advent calls us to repentance as a prelude to true rejoicing. It is a time for us to develop and nurture our prayer lives. In the madness society creates during Advent let us make some quiet time to listen to the word of the Lord and to speak to the Lord in prayer, giving Him time each day. For in His presence we too will leap for joy and so rejoice in all He has done, and all He continues to do, for us.

…and again I say rejoice!