Category Archives: John the Baptist

Light witness

Today I will testify to the light of God’s love, compassion, healing, and peace with kind, respectful, nonjudgmental, and nonviolent words, attitudes, and actions.

A man named John was sent from God. He came for testimony, to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to testify to the light. John 1:6-8

Pointing to love

El Greco (1541-1614) San Juan Bautisto oil on canvas, between ca.1600 and ca1605 Museu de Belles Arts de València

El Greco (1541-1614)
San Juan Bautisto
oil on canvas, between ca.1600 and ca.1605
Museu de Belles Arts de València

Today I will join John the Baptist in announcing the presence of Jesus by letting love illuminate and transform my words, thoughts, and actions.

John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

Shaping a prophet

3_candlesAs my paycheck seems to leave less and less for extras, my belongings are becoming more and more shabby. I fantasize about the shame of having my baggy, well-worn wool sweater chosen as the ugliest in a competition.

Jesus reminds me that fine clothing doesn’t make a prophet. Nor do power, riches, and fame. A prophet is shaped by hearing the Word of God and practicing the Way of love, peace, nonviolence, forgiveness, compassion, acceptance, and respect. A prophet stands firmly grounded in the truth of God’s love for all of humankind.

Today I will look for opportunities to love my neighbor. I will do my best to be a prophet by  sharing God’s gifts of joy and kindness.

Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John, “What did you go out to the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? Then what did you go out to see? Someone dressed in fine clothing? Those who wear fine clothing are in royal palaces. Then why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet.”
Matthew 11:7-9

A spirit of knowledge

2_candlesImagine the knowledge of God’s love, compassion, and forgiveness filling and covering the whole earth. How reverently we would step. How respectfully we would treat each other. How quickly we would help anyone in need. How peaceful our homes, communities, and countries would be.

Am I willing to participate in the kingdom of God—here and now?

There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. Isaiah 11:9

One of us

Jesus MAFA. John baptizes Jesus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48290 [retrieved January 10, 2016].

Jesus MAFA. John baptizes Jesus, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.  [retrieved January 10, 2016].

 Jesus enters into our reality to experience life the same way we do. He is a part of the human family, not apart from the human family.

And, by his example, Jesus encourages us to develop the experience of prayer, of communion with God, of entwinement with God.

When we practice conscious awareness of God’s presence for a few moments… a few minutes… a few hours… suddenly our whole life will be illumined by the discovery that God is pleased with us too.

After all the people had been baptized and Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”…  Luke 3:21-22.

Give it away

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569) The Sermon of St John the Baptist oil on oak, 1566 Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

Pieter Brueghel the Elder (1526/1530–1569)
The Sermon of St John the Baptist
oil on oak, 1566
Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts

How many coats do I have? Jackets? Sweaters? What if I were to give one away to someone who has none.

How many cans, bottles, boxes, packages of food are in my cupboards? What if I were to give some away to the hungry.

God’s prophets point us to the Way of generous awareness of the needs of others.

[John the Baptist said to them,] “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.  And whoever has food should do likewise.” Luke 3:11

At any moment

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858) Head of St. John the Baptist oil on paper mounted on canvas, 1837-1857 Tretyakov Gallery

Alexander Andreyevich Ivanov (1806-1858)
Head of St. John the Baptist
oil on paper mounted on canvas, 1837-1857
Tretyakov Gallery

At any point in our temporal history, the Word of God may come to us and lead us to become prophetic witnesses to the presence of God in our midst.

The Word of God may call us to speak out against prejudice, greed, and violence, and point the way to acceptance, generosity, and peace.

The Word of God may show us how to let go of resentment, self-centeredness, and arrogance, and teach us the way of forgiveness, service to those in need, and humble awareness of our dependence on God.

The Word of God may clarify our purpose in life: to love God, ourselves, and our neighbors, to bring comfort to the afflicted, to use our gifts and talents in the service of God’s whole human family.

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar… during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. Luke 3:1, 2