This is the second day of Lent. The reading is Matthew 3. (If you want to listen, scroll to the bottom of the page for the audio player.)
The big idea for the day comes from the first three verses of the chapter: “In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 3For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’ ”
Wright says “Like all early Christian writers, Matthew is eager to explain how what has happened in and through Jesus is what the ancient stories had been pointing to all along.” Here he picks up one of the most famous prophecies of the Old Testament, the announcement to get ready for the arrival of God, and he says that this prophecy is fulfilled in ministry of John the Baptist. He is the voice in wilderness, getting people ready for God to come back.
You and I are also a part of that rescue story, that kingdom. As we cling to Jesus in faith, he offers us life in his kingdom, as his subjects. Then He begins to use us to prepare the way, sharing his Good News so that others can become part of his rescue and reign!
Here’s a little rap on the text: Who Are You