Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service 

December 14, 2017

 Dear Friends,

This week’s Thursday’s Thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon John 1:6-8; 19-28:

“There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.” (John 1:6–8, NIV)

“Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ ” Now the Pharisees who had been sent questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.”

               (John 1:19–28, NIV)

Who am I?  Who are we?  At best, it’s a difficult question to answer.  Our lives are complex, especially in the way we interact with each other.  It is much more than can be explained with words, and even if many unanswered questions circumscribe our words, we might all be able to agree on at least one conclusion.  We are all limited.  For example, we are not able to foretell the future.  About the only thing that we can know for sure in looking forward, is that we are not able to save ourselves from death.  So, despite how powerful we may feel in the present moment, we must admit at some point that we are just human beings with a finite scope and impact.  The same was true for John the Baptist.  He was just a man… but he was also a witness.  He pointed out and gave voice to the coming of the Messiah.

In a similar fashion we too, despite our limitations, have a word to speak, especially as witnesses of Jesus Christ.  It’s a positive word that has lasting value.

   

When we hear a good word expressed in excellent witness,

it helps encourage a sense of wellness and spiritual fitness.

As such, from baptism, disciples have sought to exemplify a spiritual word:

     by what was said and done;

          for those who were led and fed;

               by the things which were stirred and spurred.

For those who follow forward, we too are striving to make straight

     the path upon which we trod,

seeking and speaking truth in service to others, finding new ways

     to share the word of God.

 

 Rev. Richard Wagner