Sunday Readings: Isaiah 61.1-2, 10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5.16-24; John 1.6-8, 19-28
John himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. “I baptize with water. Among you stand one whom you do not recognize, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” – John 1.8, 26-28
The Baptist is a witness to the existence we may take for granted, the light that rises with the sun each morning, the air we breathe. To testify to the light is to raise people’s consciousness that the life and light in which we live reveals God and is God’s gift. His time in the wilderness has heightened his awareness of the essentials.
John anticipates that the one greater than he is coming. He insists that “Among you stands one you do not recognize.” The words come down the centuries to haunt and taunt us into recognizing where we see Jesus among us. Our current political scene has awakened voices that divide us. What if this Christmas season we attempt to listen and learn from voices that differ from us? Can we recognize Christ speaking in their voices and values? Can we listen and learn from those we know only by stereotypes?
Like the Baptist ours is the task of recognizing God as work in that hardest of all places to see–in ourselves, in the pandemic, in our own unrelenting efforts to hold our families and communities together. We live in an unfinished drama and unfolding mystery that is God’s life-giving presence with us.
Describe a time of solitude that has revived your awareness of God’s presence with us. To whose voices today do you listen and live by?