The Gospel according to Luke (7:24-30) When the messengers of John the Baptist had left, 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 garments? Those who dress luxuriously and live sumptuously are found in royal palaces. Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom Scripture says: Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, he will prepare your way before you. I 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.” (All the people who listened, including the tax collectors, who were baptized with the baptism of John, acknowledged the righteousness of God; but the Pharisees and scholars of the law, who were not baptized by him, rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
Reflection: Have you ever been to a concert or maybe comedy show? Before the main act there are other bands, singers, or comedians who come out to “warm up” the audience. A couple of years ago my wife and I went with a group of friends to see a very popular stand-up comic. The three performers who came on before him were funny but not as entertaining as the he was. None the less, they did their job by preparing us for the main attraction. Am I comparing Jesus to a stand-up comedian? No, although I would imagine he did have a good sense of humor. I am merely reflecting on how there are those who are called to draw attention to someone else by drawing attention to themselves first.
In our faith history we have had many prophets who have drawn attention to themselves in order to get us to focus the most important person, the most important relationship in our lives. God our Father has always desired to be in relationship with us, however we often forget or neglect his affection. John attracted a lot of attention for plenty of reasons. Many were just curious about this “wild man” who talked of repentance and change. Maybe what kept people interested is his claim that one mightier than he was coming. What are we doing during this Advent season to draw attention to ourselves so we can lead others to Christ? To deliver the wonderful news that God loves us so much he sent his only son to offer us a gift greater than anything we could ever imagine. Along with the promise of eternal with him we have the opportunity to experience the journey of a lifetime. Not free of struggles but full of opportunities to love and be loved. And as good as it can get here, this is only a preview of things to come.
Action of the Day: God’s plan of salvation has always included us as workers in His vineyard. Who is God calling you to attract and bring into His presence? Our actions don’t have to be showstoppers. They just have to be sincere and without coercion. Bring them to Christ and He will do the rest.