Friday, February 20, 2015

Jenny Eversole

When I think of John the Baptizer, I am always filled with just a bit of awe and wonder, and maybe a little fear.  After all, the gospels tell us that John dressed in camel hair, wore a leather belt around his waist and survived on a diet of locusts and wild honey.  

John would have been the kind of person that I would have crossed the street to avoid. 

Arent we all just a little frightened of those people ...the ones who are different from us?  There was no doubt; John was different! 

John had been preaching and baptizing the people of Judea and Jerusalem.  He had quite a following!  It would have been easy to let that power go to his head, but the Gospels tell us that John knew his calling.  John demonstrated that he knew his purpose in the world. 

On the day he baptized Jesus, he told the crowds that he was not the Messiah.  Instead he was sent as the prophet Isaiah had predicted to be a voice crying out in the wilderness. 

His calling was to prepare the way for the true Messiah.

John 1:35-42 begins by telling us that John was standing with two of his disciples when Jesus passed by.  John said to his disciples, Look, here is the Lamb of God.”   

Now I dont know about you, but if I had loyal followers, I might have kept my mouth shut. 

After all, more disciples surely meant more prestige.I know it would have today.  Instead, John lived out his calling, and he identified Jesus. John faithfully pointed to Jesus and when the disciples heard this, they began to follow Jesus.  John was humble.  He knew what he was called to do.

After this passage of scripture, little else is heard from John the Baptizer until his death.  John understood his role.  He had come to proclaim the Messiah.  He had to live out his calling as one sent to prepare the way, not be the way. 

We all have a lot to learn from John the Baptizer; no one more than me. 

So this Lenten season, when I find myself wanting to be first or most important, let me remember the humility of John.  When I try to fix things that dont really need fixing, I will remember John.  When I try to give advice that no one wants; I will think about John. 

How many among us are guilty of thinking that maybe, just maybe we are the Light instead of the one whose job it is to reflect the Light? 

It is my prayer that God gives each of us the strength and wisdom to know what is ours to do.and then to do those things with grace and love.

As we journey together through his Lenten season, join me in asking, Is this the job I have been called to do?

Jenny is on Facebook and tweets over at @eversole_ jenny.


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