“There was a man sent from God” . . . interesting that John was a cousin of Jesus, about the same age, but his style of life was markedly different—camel hair clothing, leather belt around his waist, diet of locusts and wild honey. He appeared in the wilderness as a witness to the coming Messiah, as the prophet Isaiah predicted: “A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord;’” (Isaiah 40:3). He was very clear: He came not as the light but as a witness to the light.
John must have had a good amount of what we in this day would term “charisma”. He attracted enough people, preaching the theme of repentance and baptizing in the river Jordan, that some priests and Levites came to ask him who he was. They thought John was either the Messiah, Elijah or the Prophet. John denied being any of these and spoke of one who came after him, one to whom, by comparison, he was not worthy to be a slave.
We know that we are not worthy in any sense to be compared with the perfection of Christ, but we are also charged to be witnesses to the light, just as John was. We should strive to reflect Christ to others, even in the midst of our imperfections, to transmit the beam coming from him so that it shines off of our love of God and love of our neighbor. Such were the teachings of this little babe whose birth we celebrate at this time of year.
Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to be ever mindful of the teachings of the little babe born in a manger, and help us to reflect those teachings to a weary world. In His holy name, Amen.
Submitted by: Bobbie Garrett