Thought for the Day: Jesus was talking about John the Baptist, but he takes an opportunity to take a little dig at those who are wearing soft robes. Of course, John was dressed in a robe made of camel’s hair (3:4), and though I have never worn camel’s hair, I’m guessing it is about as far away as one can get from a soft robe. John is a prophet, but he also went a step further and became the one who prepared the way. A prophet announced God’s justice and reign, while one who prepared the way found him/herself in the muck of daily organization, volunteer recruitment and training. Usually different people with different gifts are called forth, but there are times when one person takes on multiple challenges. Maybe it’s because the person is multi-talented. Or maybe it’s because no one else would step forward. In John’s case, I don’t believe we know the answer. Yet I imagine, even if he had many talents, it had to have been challenging to do both. And of course, he does get beheaded for his work (14). Whether you are a prophet or someone working behind the scenes in making sure the logistics are in place for the next thing, there is always danger if it is the work of God. People love the work of God until it makes them uncomfortable, and then they are quick to go from loving to killing.
Prayer: Holy Spirit who shares, empowers and calls forth the gifts of the community, let us be mindful, without being fearful, of how our gifts can be used in your work. Rarely does it bring a reward or grand recognition, yet your people who have embraced your love are willing to model that love in service to you. We’d rather not follow in the footsteps of John who was executed, but we do recognize how faithfulness might not end exactly as we had hoped. Provide us the needed strength. Amen.
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