I sometimes wonder what would happen if, instead of inviting others to come and debate, to come and be lectured, a community of Christ followers might invite others to come and see them live out their faith by affirming the sanctity of all human life by caring for those among us regardless of age, race, ethnicity, social economic class, and sexual orientation. I wonder what kind of witness we might have if we cleaned up our own sins before we condemned the sins of others. Wouldn’t that be an appealing witness? Instead of “love the sinner and hate the sin,” why don’t we first ascribe to this dictum: “Love the sinner, and hate our own sin”?
As for the rest of us, when we respond to the love of God, when we receive the gift of his grace, when we enter the waters of baptism, I can imagine that he feels it all over again, that something inside him leaps up and says, “You, too, are my child! I love you, and I’m proud of you!” Honestly, could anything stop us after that?
As you look for his coming in this Advent season, look straight at where your doubts are. You will find [Jesus] there, holding his hands out to you, and offering you his hope, his love, his joy, his peace. And that is what you will hear and see.
But please don’t think badly of John. Near the end of today’s Gospel reading Jesus says that “among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist. He is not only a prophet, he is “the Messenger” sent to prepare the way (Mal. 3:1). And yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he is.” Jesus says it as he’s looking around at those people he has come to help and heal—the blind, the deaf, the lepers, the lame, and the poor. His dream is not national; it’s global. And it’s not political; it’s personal. Because while he has come for everyone in the world he also makes it clear that he has come for every one
Good people who do good work can completely miss what God is doing. Are you willing to challenge your religious certitudes by asking weightier and more honest questions?
Jesus didn't follow John the Baptist's expectations of who he should be. Instead, he followed the Holy Spirit's leadership. Will you follow your path or someone else's?
When God comes calling, you just never know what God is going to show you. So if one of your overriding goals in life is to hear the voice of God, you better prepare yourself because what you hear and see may not be what you expect or want... not at all.
The coming Peace Child wants to make fractured people whole. The coming Peace Child wants to save us from our enemies, even when the enemy is ourselves.
All we often hear from the news has to do with the Herods and Assads of our world. But slowly, imperceptibly, somehow, in the mystery and patience of God, the grace and mercy that comes only from God is seeping through the microscopic cracks of our world to redeem people like you and me.
As Herod kept his oath and delivered John the Baptist's head on a platter, so too are gang members in Chicago keeping their oaths as the murder rate rises. Will Jesus' gang keep their oath?
You see, the lure of the wilderness is your search for redemption. And you need look no further, for that is where you encounter the One who gave himself for you. It is in the wilderness you will find him waiting to receive you. It is in the wilderness that you find the answers you seek.
John the Baptist was a meddlesome messenger sent by God to preach inconvenient truths and prepare the way for the Son of God. And as it turned out, the Son of God was an even more meddlesome messenger than his cousin.
You don’t have to look far to see those who could use a little light in this dark, dark world. It could very well be that God wants you to be like the Baptist. You don’t have to deny who you are, just be willing to share your light when the darkness comes.
Christmas will mean so much more to us if we pull aside everyday to feed our spirits through study, prayer, reflection and meditation.
The next time Jesus doesn’t answer one of your questions, it may be because he’s waiting for you to come up with some answers of your own. The question is not, what will you say? It is, what will you do?
West Bank (RNS/ENInews) Pilgrims are flowing back to the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism on the Jordan River.
The words of John the Baptist may not be Christmas-card sweet but they call us to look at our own lives, our relationships with God and the ways those relationships impact how we live our lives.
There’s a sense in which you and I ourselves are living in a story within a story. We haven’t reached the final word of grace... not yet. That final word has yet to be written. But in the meantime, we are to be like the disciples who go out and minister in Christ’s name... with a hammer or paint brush in our hand, with just a smile or an encouraging word for those who so desperately need it. There is no guarantee that we won’t be confronted by our present-day Herods. The only assurance – but it is assurance enough – is that God will be with us every step of the way.
There is tyranny in our time. That tyranny causes great injustice and suffering. The tyrants of our time are just as vindictive as Herod. Let us find strength in the gospel of Jesus Christ to challenge the tyrants and be prophetic witnesses of divine justice and truth.
The Gospel of Mark narrates John’s arrest and death in a way that implies something deeply theological about the vulnerability of those who would dare to be prophets of God.