The Rev. Sue Eaves, a retired Rector of the Episcopal Church, USA, was born in England, a country of lush, green, picturesque views almost completely different from those she saw while visiting the deserts of the American Southwest. The contrast was startling. “Imagine my response,” she says, “to the total otherness of that landscape.” And yet the desert is where the world’s three most prominent religions were born. “Desert changes people,” Eaves says. Maybe that’s why John the Baptist began his ministry there in today’s passage from Luke 3:1-6.