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    • John the Baptist bridges the era of the prophets and the coming of the Messiah. He is both the last of the great prophets before Christ and the first herald of the gospel. The Eastern churches have deep reverence for John, and they call him the Great Forerunner of Christ. the early church, too,had high respect for him, and his story is intertwined with the story of Jesus in the beginning of the gospel of Luke. John's message is fire and his manner chills like winter wind. He is a man of vast contrasts, eating locusts and honey, living in the desert and baptizing in water.
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    • The slow sailing of the Earth around its star brings another winter. An old hymn sings our impatience: How long, dear Savior, O how long, shall this thine hour delay? Fly swift around, ye wheels of time and bring the promised day. We wait for Christmas. Yet even more, the church looks forward to that promised day when Christ will return and time will end. But in all the anticipation and preparations,let's not overlook the present moment,this holy time of Advent. We keep Advent now until sunset on December 24.
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