Advent is a time of sitting and waiting, but also for anticipation and preparation.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that our preparation for the coming of God’s great gift is about preparing ourselves, and the world around us, for the change that will take place before our very eyes. To some, this change will be redemptive – and for others, condemnation.
For the loser now / Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’…
The line it is drawn / And the curse it is cast
The slow one now / Will later be fast
As the present now / Will later be past
The order is / Rapidly fading’ / And the first one now / Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’
One can undoubtedly hear echoes of the Gospel in nearly every line of Dylan’s prophetic tale. What we often miss, however, is that the heart of the Gospel is beating to the rhythm of Israel’s ancient prophets – especially Isaiah. What John prepares the people for (remember, Isaiah 40?) is the coming fulfillment of God’s desire for justice. The Gospels, then, illustrate in various ways how this will come about, but this one thing is clear:
Some will benefit from this coming justice more than others.