Messengers from John the BaptistThe disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19and sent them to the Lord to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’ 20When the men had come to him, they said, ‘John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” ’ 21Jesus* had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22And he answered them, ‘Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers* are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.’
24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus* began to speak to the crowds about John:* ‘What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 25What then did you go out to see? Someone* dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. 26What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27This is the one about whom it is written,
“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.”
28I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.’ 29(And all the people who heard this, including the tax-collectors, acknowledged the justice of God,* because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. 30But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)
31 ‘To what then will I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? 32They are like children sitting in the market-place and calling to one another, “We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.”
33For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, “He has a demon”; 34the Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners!” 35Nevertheless, wisdom is vindicated by all her children.’ Luke 7:18-35
Sequoyah was the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet. "In 1821 he completed his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, making reading and writing in Cherokee possible. This was one of the very few times in recorded history that a member of a pre-literate people created an original, effective writing system. After seeing its worth, the people of the Cherokee Nation rapidly began to use his syllabary and officially adopted it in 1825. Their literacy rate quickly surpassed that of surrounding European-American settlers." Sequoyah used his skills to help his people move through a landscape that was changing rapidly, and which would be turned upside in a matter of a few years. When my people walked the Trail of Tears, it is reported that 90% of the tribe was literate in both Cherokee and English. Our survival in a extremely hostile world and eventual resurgence as a people can be credited in part to his wisdom.
Jesus is frustrated by the seeming desire of the religious leaders to remain ignorant and unwilling to be blessed by the presence of the Incarnate God. While acknowledging God's justice, they were stubborn and rigid in their understanding of God's love and presence. We can cling to notions of the world, long beyond their usefulness. And we humans can cling to a culture and way of being that destroys relationships and keeps others from seeing the face of God. The promise of Jesus, is that despite our human failings, God's love will live in all who are willing to listen and be made wise.
Today I ask God to help me listen and seek God's love and wisdom in every moment. May we not avoid learning and growing in order to hold on to old notions of God's reign. May we live into the love of Christ's as we love wisely and fully as the children of God.