John the Baptist traveled the region both sides of the Jordan with a message that was fundamentally the same as Jesus’, repentance and forgiveness. John’s baptism was basically a repentance-baptism, connecting the need for cleansing and repentance. Repentance presupposes that our society lacks something and needs a change. In John, we see repentance as turning away from old ways and pledging allegiance to God. Human sins cause great harm around the world, but forgiveness provides healing and restores unity in the community. In an era when prominent people and events of significance bring so much destruction, what John did in a corner prepared the way of peace. Many things crowd out the Christmas message like insipid politics and pathetic commercialism. The message of Christ’s coming is far more important. It was announced with a baptism of repentance in a wilderness.