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Sunday, January 12, 2014
Scripture Reading: John 1:29–34
The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.” (NRSV)
One thing I always notice when reading about great peacemakers, like Dorothy Day, Gandhi, and Nelson Mandela, is that no matter how people praised them for the work they were doing, they dismissed the compliments and instead exuded a passion for working for the greater good. Their works were never about themselves but about emerging revolutions to raise awareness. What’s more, they knew their work was just the beginning. It was the forefront of great work that would come centuries after them.
The same was true for John the Baptist. In this passage, we find how praise and joy easily surrounded his presence, as many thought he was the savior at hand. However, John knew someone greater would follow—Christ. John brought hope to those he baptized with water, but Jesus welcomed the Holy Spirit into his ministry, offering zeal, passion, and wisdom.
How do we like John, as followers and believers of Christ, find joy in that humility? We are so small in this amazing life journey. But this humility we can attain, this meekness we should embrace, allows us to be in awe of all that God has created and all that Christ calls us to be. Humility is not easy, especially when our personal accomplishments, goals, struggles, and ongoing growth often consume our every thought. Let us look to John, and our modern-day prophets, for embracing the humility and meekness with which we honor Christ and his works.
God, remind me to accept myself for what I am. I am a speck of sand and a mere glimpse in all your creation. Allow me to prepare those after me for Christ’s great works, rather than focusing on my own needs or achievements. Help me to take hold of this humility and remain amazed by your gifts and blessings. Amen.
Written by Jackie Lorens, Associate Program Manager, EDSSC
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