"... the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.' "
Mark 1: 3
Reflecting on the text
The herald cries out in the wilderness; the Common English Bible translates "cries out" as "shouts." And the wilderness shouts out its joy when the Messiah comes; it rejoices and blossoms like the desert rose. The symbol of the rose recalls the prophetic vision of Isaiah 35. Growth, joy, life - the birth of the Messiah transforms all creation. In art, literature, and poetry over the centuries, Jesus Christ himself was symbolized by a rose. The custom of using the rose as an Advent symbol can be traced back to the 13th century. It was Martin Luther's favorite symbol of the Christian faith. It blooms among us as a sign of hope and joy at the center of our Chancel cross.