your advent alarms us.
wake us from drowsy worship,
from the sleep that neglects love,
and the sedative of misdirected frenzy.
awaken us now to your coming
and bend our angers into your peace. Amen
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
24 (Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27 even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28 These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Have you ever been confused for someone else? When I was a teenager many people confused me for Anthony Michael Hall AKA Farmer Ted from the movie Sixteen Candles. I actually had people follow me around Disney World. We don’t look anything alike today and our lives have taken very different tracks. I think he just got arrest for assaulting his neighbour. But at one time we looked similar.
John the Baptist was asked if he was the Christ or Elijah or the prophet. His answer is no, I am just pointing the way of the one I am not even worthy to serve. I am sure you feel like you would never be confused for Jesus. People can’t possibly look at you as an example so different in this world that you would be confused in that way.
But in the inbetween, the now and not yet, we can do things for people in order to receive recognition, praise or approval. We aren’t acting out of love for them or a desire to serve but because we long to be needed and seen as that special person who can get things done for them. We desire to be looked upon as the answer for those around us. We begin to think, “What would they do without me in their lives?” We build our identity on how we are perceived and our own value rest on the recognition of something we have done for them.
We are worthy because Christ came not because of the things we do for others or the amount of recognition we get for said things. We are worthy because Christ steps in to the in between, the now and not yet, to provide assurance of our place in His family. We act in love and service because it is the worshipful response to the generous gift from God. We are not Christ to anyone and we need to stop thinking we can be. Let Christ be Christ and you be who He has created you to be. He makes you worthy.