Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Crying In the Wilderness

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing. John 1:19-28

Wilderness can be found in many places, not just in the vast forests and deserts that cover our earth. We can find ourselves in a wilderness in the midst of a great cities, in the midst of a huge party, in the center of all the action. We can feel very separated from others and from God, isolated, lonely and misunderstood. As faithful humans, we can do all the good work we do and be separated and sent packing, shunned for no good reason, except politics and personalities.

John is given a tough assignment by God. The Creator has asked him to stand in the in-between place, the place of preparation and expectation. He was called to speak to the great wilderness of human hearts, the places where we seem lost and without direction. He was called to open the wilderness hearts to the love of God incarnate, living and working among us. We are invited in this Epiphany season to open our hearts to listen to God moving in our midst.

Today, I ask God to open my heart and eyes to see God's love and movement around me. May we all be reminded in our wilderness experiences, that the Creator is drawing near to us, among and bringing us new hearts of love.

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