Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thoughts on John the Baptist

Today's Lenten Scripture thoughts:

In today's reading from John 1, John the Baptist says, twice, "I myself did not know him." He follows up that statement, the first time, with, "...but for this I came, baptizing with water...."

It kind of struck me what an odd assignment John was given! I wonder how God explained it to him. Was it in a dream, or a knowing that he had since childhood, or was it a voice: "Go and tell the people to repent. If they do, then baptize them. And watch for one on whom the Spirit descends and remains. He's the Son of God, and He will baptize with the Holy Spirit. That's the whole point of this."

So John obeys, thinking, "I have no idea who this guy is, but one of these days he's going to come along. In the meantime, my job is to call people to repent, and prepare the way for Him."

It seems that that is our job as well, during Lent--to repent, to prepare our hearts--without knowing when or how or if God is going to show up. We expect him to, just as John the Baptist expected Christ, but we don't profess to understand all that God may have in mind. "I myself did not know him."

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