Monday, February 22, 2016

The Birth of John the Baptist

Dear Christa—
The Birth of John the Baptist
The story of Jesus begins with John the Baptist. In many ways Jesus’ early life is hidden until his famous first miracle of turning the water into wine—not so much with John the Baptist.
People knew John the Baptist—that he was unique and he was a prophet of God. From his very birth, people took note of John the Baptist.
The neighbors and friends assumed he’d be named after his father, when Elizabeth said, “No! He is to be called John.”
Imagine the mystery surrounding this child and his unusual birth:
His father was a priest.
Both parents were old when he was conceived.
His father was mute after serving in the temple.
They gave him an unusual name.
When Zechariah confirms the name, he suddenly can speak again.
And speak he does—prophesying God’s coming redemption and John’s role as a prophet, giving knowledge of forgiveness of sin.
The bewildered listeners may have taken heart and focused on the appearance of a political salvation, but Zechariah’s words meant so much more.
Salvation—salvation from sin. What greater mercy could ever be extended to humankind?
–-to be forgiven of sin
—to be redeemed from ourselves and our own selfish desires
—to become more like what we were originally designed to be, a reflection of God most high.
It’s hard to believe, but believe it. Act on it. Live it each day: We have been redeemed from sin.
And, somewhat like John, we prepare the way for others to have that knowledge of salvation.
John was bold—his message was captivating. Oh, to be like John of whom there was no doubt among followers of God and those who aren’t that he proclaimed and served a powerful God.
The very same God we serve today.
-the parishioner who doesn’t do anything

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