Guest Blogger: Rev. Ruth Shannon


“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.’” –
Mark 1:2b-3

Wilderness is a metaphor for lost, exile, homelessness.

In Mark’s Gospel, the beginning of the good news of Jesus is that the road home is God’s highway. We tend to think we search for God, but it is God who searches for us; who makes a way for us to “come home” no matter how far we have wandered.

Wilderness is that place, which is no place, where we lose our way; wander from the path; get lost.

Exile is that time when we become enslaved to false gods, sell out, forget. Christmas is a time for homecoming.

Have you been on “exile?” What voice, what recently smoothed way has called you back to God? What road is God building toward you today?

For me, and to some degree for my family, Lakeside has provided the quiet, the time and space in which to hear God’s Holy Spirit calling me in from the wilderness.

Sometimes when lost in self-doubt or deep grief over the loss of a loved one, or in identity-changing illness, it seems the road home has led me to this place. This has been a place of God’s Advent, God’s coming; a place of homecoming. It is grace, gifted, Emmanuel and Christmas.

May you hear God’s voice, walk God’s Advent road and arrive at the Christmas manger to behold Emmanuel, God-with-us.