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
[The angel of the Lord said, “Mary] will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Matthew 1:21-23
As 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.”
Imagine 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
In unexpected moments of grace, we are made aware of the presence of the Lord and our hearts leap with joy.
[Elizabeth said,] “And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” Luke 1:43
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