Thursday, December 10th
John 1:6–8, 19–28
John the Baptist is an enigma, and he has been from the beginning. “Who
are you?” the delegation from Jerusalem asks. He is quick to say who he is
not. He is not the Messiah, and he is not one of those persons expected by
some as forerunner of the Messiah: he is not Elijah returned to earth, and he
is not “the prophet” like Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15). Instead, John is the voice
proclaiming the need for people to prepare the way for the coming of the
Messiah. The message is more important than the identity of the messenger.
For us to “make straight the way of the Lord” is a matter of reflecting on
the ways we live our lives. The way we conduct them can help or inhibit our
relationship to God and to one another. Every day is a possible day for self-examination. Today we hear John the Baptist say that we should get on with it.
Good and gracious God, help us to gaze deeply into our lives, see our shortcomings,
repent, and go forth in freedom and with gracious, loving conduct. Amen.