Lectionary texts: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11, Psalm 126, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, John 1:6-8, 19-28
There was a man named John who was sent from God.
He came as a witness to testify about the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. Â Â Â John 1:6-8 (HCSB)
There was a girl named Jody who was sent from God.
She came as a witness to testify about Jesus, so that everyone who knew her, knew Him.
She wasn’t perfect like Him but she came to tell about Jesus who was perfect. â€“ my paraphrase
It is much easier for me to read the passage from John, see the beauty of that whole chapter than to hear the Spirit of God put my name into the passage.
â€œOh, no, that isn’t about me! I’m no ‘John the Baptist’! I’m just a girl from the Midwest who’s raised her children and is looking forward to gliding through to my reward.â€ Is that the way God sees my life?
The Isaiah 61 passage (repeated by Jesus in Luke 4:14-21) also gives a testimony of someone called by God to deliver His message of love to His children. Psalm 126 gives such encouragement to those who trust in the LORD. And 1 Thessalonians 5 passage gives a list of spiritual exercises that will build our relationship into the strong covenant that God desires that it be. He is faithful and will fulfill more than His promises.
Yes, God has sent us â€“ everyone of us â€“ with a message. We are to tell about Jesus. If we know Him, then He has already done something in our lives.
He came to earth â€“ fully human, fully God.
He walked in the dirt of this life to show us how to live this life joyously no matter our circumstances.
He has given us eternal life through His death on the cross.
He rose in power, conquering death for all time.
He has prepared a place for us to live forever with Him.
God doesn’t call me to be perfection. He is perfection. He calls me to be transparent so that it is not my name that people remember â€“ but the name of Jesus.
The Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and temple helpers to ask John who he was. He told them plainly, “I am not the Messiah.” Then when they asked him if he were Elijah, he said, “No, I am not!” And when they asked if he were the Prophet, he also said “No!” Finally, they said, “Who are you then? We have to give an answer to the ones who sent us. Tell us who you are!”
John answered in the words of the prophet Isaiah, “I am only someone shouting in the desert, `Get the road ready for the Lord!’ “
Some Pharisees had also been sent to John. They asked him, “Why are you baptizing people, if you are not the Messiah or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John told them, “I use water to baptize people. But here with you is someone you don’t know. Even though I came first, I am not good enough to untie his sandals.” Â Â John 1:19-27 (CEV)