The “wilderness” of ancient Judea was a place of danger and death, a place to be feared and avoided. It was in that wilderness that John called people to change their lives and prepare the way of God.
With his angel’s wings, John is the immortal messenger moving through time and space, shouting, “In your wilderness, prepare yourself to see God where God is, to do the work of God, here and now!!” John preached repentance/change and the sign for that was washing in the river. The baptism did not just mean cleaning our bodies but also cleaning up our act.
I am not sure, but last week’s marchers may well have been doing just that. The marchers were saying that they would be seriously working to save the environment and make life better for all human beings.
Recently Mother Evelyn here at Saint John’s Cathedral in Denver posed the question: “How do we keep our faith and our dreams when we find ourselves in the wilderness?”
We pray. We help others. We work to save the environment. We march.
And whatever else it takes.