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A voice in the desert

by Bettina Van Vaerenbergh

Jesus had a cousin -
John the Baptist by name.
He was God's messenger;
A prophet of fame.

From his mother's womb
He was full of the Holy Ghost.
To John, serving God was
What mattered the most.

John was quite a loner;
He lived in the desert.
He wore a simple hairshirt,
And a belt made of leather.

He never ate meat,
Nor did he drink wine…
With locusts and wild honey
John was perfectly fine.

God had chosen John,
He had set him apart -
To make ready His people;
To turn the nation's heart.

To turn the disobedient
To the wisdom of the just;
To warn all of Israel:
Repentance is a must!

To prepare the way
For Jesus, the Messiah.
He was to go before the Lord
In the Spirit of Elijah.

There, in the Judean desert
God spoke to him:
"Go, preach and baptize
For the remission of sin."

With a loud voice John cried:
"Oh Israel, please hear!
Repent and be baptized;
The great day is near!"

"Turn from your evil ways
And make His paths straight;
'Cause at the root of the trees
The axe is already laid."

"Bring forth good fruits -
Fruits worthy of repentance;
And say not to yourself:
We're Abraham's descendants."

"I baptize you with water
But One comes after me -
He will baptize with the Spirit;
Great and mighty is He!"

"He will gather the wheat,
But all the chaff He will burn.
Oh Israel, please hear;
It's to the Lord you must turn!"

- -

A voice cried in the desert,
As many voices still do today:
"Make straight the paths of the Lord;
People, prepare you His way!"

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