In the Theater of Our Own Lives
We each inhabit a particular scene or setting with particular historical, social, political, economic features. It is within that setting—not in some ethereal, spiritual, purely personal, inner realm—that we are called to repent and to prepare for the coming of Jesus Christ.
As I sit in the darkened theater watching the action in Luke 3:1-6, I don't see John sitting in his mother's kitchen waiting for things to start happening. I see him already out in the wilderness when God's word appears to him. A voice crying in the wilderness in the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Anna and Caiaphas.
During Advent, Luke shows us John's stage set, and he challenges us to invite him into ours.
I. Howard Marshall, The New International Greek Testament Commentary on Luke (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1978).