There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He himself was not the light,
but he came to testify to the light.
The Old Testament closes with the book of Malachi prophesying that before that ‘great and terrible day of the Lord’, Elijah will return. Jewish tradition therefore believed that Elijah would arrive one day as an unknown guest to herald the advent of the messiah. The New Testament starts with a larger-than-life figure taking centre stage: John the Baptist. In both his appearance and his kosher diet, John echoed the prophet Elijah and the similarities were not lost on those around him. He was the herald, the one who announces the messiah. The long waiting was over, the Kingdom of God was on the threshold. Our advent wait is nearly over, with just four days until Christmas Day. May we know afresh the light of Jesus in our hearts this Christmas and may God grant us the courage to be light bearers in a dark world. The Kingdom of God is here.