司祭 スコット マーレー
The Rev. Scott Murray
This Sunday we hear
about John the Baptist. What a character he is paintedto be! What
do you see when you picture John?
Here are some observations about John.
One, he invades. He comes into our space and makes us feel uncomfortable.
That's one of the jobs of a prophet. The invasion is under way.
Jesus iscoming. Get ready.
Two, John protests. The world says to get your fulfillment by
increasing your pleasure. Our loyalty lies in self gain. Not only
does John's life speak out to this, his words railed against it.
Share your goods. Don't live
for yourself, John shouts. His non-conformity brings his message
power, demanding hearing by his listeners.
And John excites. He is more than fire and brimstone. His words
are creative. He fostered renewal. People heard his words, saw
his life, and wanted to change. They were fed up with the old
life. To live responsibly.
John is a catalyst for change.
And we can also see that John is so consumed by his message that
he was the message. In his holy madness, though, he managed to
keep his convictions.
They did not turn into conceit, like many people do when faced
with an increasing public. John reminds us that we are to be servants,
not sensations. As Leonard Bernstein once answered when asked
what the most difficult instrument to play was, "second fiddle"
is indeed the hardest one to play for most of us.
Advent is about preparation. Getting ready. and maybe about lower
our internal expectation of ourselves so that it doesn't matter
if we are asked to play second fiddle.
Barrie Shephard has a nice prayer for Advent.
"As I begin this day, become flesh again in me, Father. Let
your timeless and everlasting love live out this sunrise to sunset
within the possibilities and the impossibilities of my own, very
Help me to become Christ to my neighbor, food to the hungry, health
to the sick, friend to the lonely, freedom to the enslaved, in
all my daily living. Amen.