27 Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28 and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave
you this authority to do them?” 29 Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30 Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” 31 They argued with one another, “If we say, “From heaven,’ he will say, “Why then did you not believe him?’ 32 But shall we say, “Of human origin’?”—they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. 33 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”
John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way of the Lord. His followers knew his authority was heavenly, he was sent by God to prepare the way. And this made other authorities afraid. Afraid of the crowd.
I spent the last 24 hours with others wanting an Advent silent retreat. Sure, a silent retreat can work fine individually, at home, or walking in a quiet place. But there is something about sharing a silent retreat in community that shapes my view of God’s call to the church, the community of God. For this community held me in prayer while I was praying. This community shared life with me. This community was a crowd that lifted up the time in prayer as a precious gift. I might have given into the temptation of shopping season were it not for these beautiful souls who kept me grounded.
As we share in the Advent season together, may we realize the hope we have as a body of Christ, a hope for a greater kingdom of God to come on earth.