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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Today’s Reading | Mark 1:1–8

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, See, I am sending my messenger
     ahead of you, who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord,
     make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (NRSV)


In the chancel of the Fourth Presbyterian Church Sanctuary, there is a beautiful stained glass window above the organ console, the Great West Window. At the bottom of the center panel is a depiction of John the Baptist pointing upward toward Christ. That particular panel has special significance for me each time I sit directly below it to play the organ. It is a reminder to me that my role as a musician is to lead other people in glorifying and worshiping God. Like John the Baptist, I too am pointing toward Christ.

Being a musician has been the primary way I have lived my call as a Christian, but over time I have extended that calling into all facets of my life, not just when I am making music in the Sanctuary, but when I am taking care of my family, talking with strangers, or reading newspaper accounts of people far away.

We are each called to point to Christ with all our being, with all our life energy, in every moment. At times it may seem easy, but at other times it can be very challenging. It takes a great deal of effort to truly point to Christ; yet the rewards of living out this calling become more apparent with every passing day.


O Christ, help me focus on you, believe in you, and point to you with my words, my actions, and my life, so that others may know your love, your joy, and your peace. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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