Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Being Sent Ahead

After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he spent some time there with them and baptized. John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim because water was abundant there; and people kept coming and were being baptized - John, of course, had not yet been thrown into prison.
Now a discussion about purification arose between John's disciples and a Jew. They came to John and said to him, "Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him." John answered, "No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, 'I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.' He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:22-30 

The house is nearly empty, the bags pretty much packed and things are being cleaned for the final time. I have had the great pleasure of being the interim at St. Peter's by the Sea in Sitka, Alaska. They have taught me so much and we have grown together, moving through the anxiety and grief of loss to new and abundant possibilities. They will move forward with grace and hope I know it. And I must step aside so they may thrive. Our next steps are still a bit unclear, but I do know that throughout the history of our faith, God has sent others on ahead to pave a trail, to make things ready. We will know in time the complete story, the complete picture.
John is trying to explain to his worried disciples about his role in relationship to Jesus. John had a particular role, readying the world for the Messiah. They wanted John to be the one, they loved him and followed him and were in relationship with him. But John understood God's timing, and delighted in his role of trail blazer. He trusted God's timing completely. We are invited today to trust God's timing. Our timing is not God's and we often fight against the roles we have been given in this time. But God promises to make a way for us, a place for us, a welcome home when the time is right.

Today I ask God to simply help me trust. May we all put worries aside and invite God's peace into our day. May we understand what we need to do for today and trust God with all our tomorrows.

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