John 1:6-8, 19-28
Throughout this week we have been praying with readings that invite us into the way of radical compassion. John's message reminds us that we are baptized into that way, drawn through the waters of life into a deep love which is to be shared with all. People around us--and our own inner doubts--may cause us to question this path, may urge us to cling to human leaders and human strategies. But the way of Jesus is at once so far above, beneath, beyond and ultimately within us that we must rely on God, and God alone. We are not worthy even to untie the sandals of the One who comes to us first as a fragile infant. Yet, God finds us there in our vulnerability and fragility, in our despair and our suffering and draws us into the Light.
Loving God, in the darkness of these days of Advent, in our waiting and our wandering, help us to recognize you in the midst of our wilderness journeys. Bear with us as we wander our crooked paths, and shine your light into our world, drawing us to you in hope, in mercy, in love. Amen.
John 1:6-8, 19-28 (NRSV)
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.
8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light...
19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?"
20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah."
21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No."
22 Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?"
23 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.
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.
25 They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?"
26 John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know,
27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal."
28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.