Wild and lone the prophet’s voice
Advent is a time of preparation as the incarnation of Jesus approaches at Christmas. It’s a time for recollection and introspection as we consider our response to the calling of the Lord who comes. Prophets down the ages have been God’s messengers challenging his people to consider that call – ‘calling us to make a choice, bidding us to do God’s will.’
This hymn speaks of cleansing ourselves, another theme appropriate to Advent, as we yield ourselves ‘to God’s control’, and as we gear ourselves up to bear the fruit of repentance, namely, living ‘lives of justice, truth, and love’, as we ‘set [y]our heart[s] on things above’.
The hymn-writer draws upon another theme of Advent, that of judgement, as he recalls the refiner’s fire. Yet, it’s only in the last verse that we discover the name of the prophet – it’s none other than John the Baptist who also features in the Advent liturgies: the one who prepares the way for the Christ who comes: ‘[H]is timeless warnings hold words of hope to all who hear’.
The hymn ends on a hopeful note for those who are being ‘led by faith through ways untrod’. We come, with John, ‘to behold the Lamb of God’ in the manger, on the Cross, and reigning in glory.
journey with us through our Advent devotion
and bless us as we seek to prepare ourselves
to celebrate your coming. Amen.