Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Among You Stands
They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing. John 1:25-28
Yesterday, a long time witness to Christ's presence in the world, passed to his final home. John Mather, a life-time resident of Cape May Point and long time friend to me passed away after a long struggle with cancer at the age of 87. John was senior warden at St. Peter's by the Sea in Cape May Point as long as I can remember. He was constantly working to improve the church and community. Despite the challenges in his last days, he walked to church (in great pain) when I lead services there in July. It proved to be his last service as he was bed-ridden, hospitalized and brought home again with hospice shortly thereafter. There was no kinder man, nor willing friend than John. He may not have been exactly like his name sake John (the Baptist), by his witness was strong and his humility and hospitality were boundless. John, by his life, taught that Jesus does indeed stand among us. May his soul rest in peace and enjoy the near presence of the one he loved and served.
May today be a day of rejoicing for all those living and dead who have witnessed to Christ's love and presence in our lives. May our witness be stronger because of them and may we honor their legacy with the same humility and hospitality characteristic of John.