AWAKE Part Three

christ feet

“Among you stands one whom you do not know… the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie”                                                                                         ~ John 1.26,27

THE CROWDS WERE COMING out to see John and to be baptized by him. He was so famous now that he was attracting the attention of the Temple priests and politicians, as well as the powerful Jewish intelligentsia. Even King Herod Antipas found “the Baptizer” strangely compelling, despite the ascetic’s prophetic condemnation of his own licentious royal life-style. John’s straight-talking authenticity and charismatic wild-man presence were in stark contrast to the soft-robed comfort of organized religion and his popularity was showing no signs of waning. No doubt, he was becoming for many the go-to authority for spiritual and socio-political guidance, particularly for those of non-conforming character. But, according to the Fourth Gospel’s narrator, when questioned about his own place in the cosmic pantheon of God’s sent ones, John has no self-interest other than as voice of proclamation, opener of eyes and souls that people might know the Christ among us, coming to us and proceeding from us.
Among the crowd on the banks of the River, stepping down into the Water from the crowd, came the Christ to be washed and cleansed at the hands of the Baptizer, hidden in plain sight until the one sent to be the Witness beheld him and knew him. John was not the Light, he came to testify to the Light. From this moment, John’s role was to fade so as not to impinge on the Light but rather allow the Light to intensify, “The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”
Oh God of Wondrous Mystery, open the hearts and minds of your people, to the Truth hiding in plain sight, Jesus’ birth both literal and metaphoric, what you desire to do through all of us, Light which no darkness can put out. May we fade in self and be illumined in Christ. Amen.

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~ by Fr Tim Ardouin on December 16, 2017.

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