A priest and performer considers religion, the arts, and the often thin space between sacred and secular, church and culture, pulpit and pew.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Ninth Day of Christmas: January 2 (I John 2:22-29, John 1:19-28)

On the ninth of Christmas, God’s true Love gave to me…

…a job to do.

John is being grilled by messengers from the religious leaders in Jerusalem. Might this person baptizing in the Jordan and gaining followers be the Messiah? When they ask him “Who are you?” John answers in the negative: “I am not the Messiah!” “Who are you? Who ARE you?” the messengers keep asking, “Elijah?” “The prophet?” John continues to disappoint and frustrate them by not laying claim to any of those identities. Finally, and only when they appear desperate, does John reveal that while he may not be the prophet, he does fulfill one of Isaiah’s prophecies: “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord’”.

This is used in the current lectionary year as an Advent text. Our wildernesses are many, and exist anywhere that God is not present. Our job is to do everything we can to help smooth the way for others to encounter the living God. How does that job look in your context?

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