Given by Rev. Madison Shockley December 13, 2020
According to our reading, John was sent by God as a witness so others could believe in the Light. Jesus and John the Baptist are linked. Many mistook John for the messiah. Both were prophets preaching redemption and the arrival of a new world order, the empire of God. They shared disciples. In this gospel, the confusion is at its greatest. The Pharisees repeatedly ask John who are you. They were looking for a leader that would unite them and help the Israelites become a prosperous nation again. That must have been quite a feeling for John the Baptist to be mistaken for Jesus. As Christians, our highest aspirations would be for people to make that same mistake about us. Today, we are looking for a way to rescue us, not from an evil empire but from a pandemic. We need to go back to school, work, life. We need to feel normal again. We don’t need one leader but each other. It is in our hands. We need people to believe. John had the same goal. People needed to believe. As Christians, we carry on John’s work. Sounds simple but this is very hard. In these dark times, it is hard to believe there is light. Just as John used the words of Isaiah, we can use Isaiah’s words to bring good news and hope. We are the light-bearers who bring the promise of hope. We must act so that someone might mistake us for the Light. Christmas is about the rebirth of hope, rebirth of light. Give the gift of hope. Be the Light!