the voice in the wilderness

Have you woken in the night, again and again, looking for the dawn? The dawn of a day you dread, but need? That is how it was. Judah stirred in her sleep. She opened her eyes, and looked towards the door, the door into freedom. She was searching for the light of dawn, for a day she wanted, and she dreaded.

Judah is us. It was I and my friends who peered into the darkness for a light. The coldness of the faith of those round us. The tepid following of the law. We looked at those sleeping round us, and we longed for a true dawn. And then there came a voice, like the voice of a herald.

In the desert, in the old heartland of our Lord. In the wilderness, from which our people came. A man who seemed to be everything we longed for. He was sure, certain. He was ascetic, dressed in strange ways, marked out as one who was wholly dedicated and set apart. What he preached was just what we expected. The old call back to purity of life. The themes we ached to hear. And mixed with the themes we expected was just enough of the new. He took the practise of ritual washing-clean which we had seen so often, and he elevated it. He offered purity through forgiveness, washing, amendment of life. It was a great mix. It was the prefect combination.

Why did it leave us dissatisfied, in some corner of ourselves?

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