Thursday, November 13, 2008

San Juan Baptista

CHANGING OUR WORLD FOR GOOD. How are we to do that has followers of the One who, came to change His world for good? That's the question I seek to find answers for in our new series of Sunday morning messages, "Changing Our World for Good." Our study is taking us through the Gospel of John with the prayer and plan to see Jesus, and to note how He changed the world for good, and then to discover how to join Him it that world-changing work.

This week we are looking at one who sole purpose was to point to the Way and then get out of the way. John the Baptist, as we know him came to bear witness to the Light and yet he himself was not the Light. He is a great example for us as followers of Jesus Christ. Too often I seek to keep in the limelight, but that is really not my role, not my place. Like John, I am to point to the One who is the Way, and then get out of the way, so that people can follow Jesus.

Today I am thankful for the John the Baptists in my life. Those who pointed me to Jesus, and then got out of the way so I could see Jesus and follow Him. Then were content to live within the limits that God had entrusted to them. They called me to repentance. They spoke the truth. They even stood with me in the rivers of my life, and yet their primary role was to point me to Jesus and set me free to follow Him. For these men and women, I am thankful.

To this baptist life I think we are all called. To watch, wash, and point the way. It's a life of humble purpose. Come to think of it, it's the life of Jesus in us.

So may we live.


trinity said...

I am studying John the Baptist this week too, funny ow God always pulls all things together to get us pointed in the right direction.

In Luke, Johns words to the crowds seem to echo the cry of my heart and Brittany's heart...(yours too I would think) that we are so tired of having people fall back on their birthright as Christians, we long to call them into a deeper more evident walk, yet more demanding way of living like Christ.

Anonymous said...

To point people to Jesus and then get out of the way. I think you really said a mouthful there. That’s really a pretty good description of what all of us need to do, but how easy is it to convince people that they can have a relationship with a very real, but nevertheless, invisible person?

I just watched that movie “Harvey” where Elwood Dowd believes he has this friend, Harvey the rabbit, who happens to be a pooka Now the authors of this play/movie have taken a lot of artist’s license and turned what is described in irish folklore as a mischievous spirit into a benevolent, kind, all knowing helpful spirit… really more like what we think of when we think of the Holy Spirit.

So this friend has a good effect on Elwood who is obviously the most harmless, congenial, goodhearted person imaginable and obviously a person who thoroughly enjoys life as well.

But it seems it is disconcerting to live in the same house with someone who insists on talking to and referring to his invisible friend no matter who is around which becomes a continual embarrassment for the family. If that isn’t bad enough, Elwood drinks a little himself, and also hangs out with sinners down a local bar and to make matters worse keeps inviting drunks, ex-convicts and other “undesirables” home for dinner. So finally Elwood’s sister decides she must have him committed.

But the movie made me wonder? Are enough Christians crazy enough to be considered certifiable? Elmwood didn’t have his friend work any miracles yet people came to realize that Harvey was a better, happier person due to his invisible friend’s influence.

In fact, before the movie is over, the head psychiatrist at the mental hospital wants Harvey to be his own personal friend. Unfortunately, there was only one Harvey the Rabbit and he ultimately decided he would rather be with Elwood so the poor psychiatrist lost out.

The good news is the invisible Holy Spirit, a christian’s invisible friend, teacher and constant companion, is omnipresent and can befriend everyone who wants to welcome the Holy Spirit into their life.

And the really good news is the most important thing every Christian can do is develop a deep enough relationship ourselves with the Holy Spirit so that even as people scratch their heads and wonder if we aren’t delusional when we point to our invisible friend (before getting out of the way), they might just want the same kind of influence in their own lives. And they might just want it badly enough to risk going off the deep end themselves by being willing to believe in an invisible God to such an extent that they are willing to turn their entire lives over to Him.

So it has to be kind of a cup runneth over thing. We believe. We accept. And the gift that just keeps giving (welling up into eternal life) overflows into the lives of others. All we can do is accept more of him, point the way to others, and then get out of the way. Even the results and the number of people who see the light – all that is in His hands.