There’s nothing wrong with being really good at what you do. At St. Tim’s, and all over God’s beautiful creation, there are really good people doing really wonderful things. It’s so much fun to recognize the incredible work people do. At the same time, being recognized can easily become the goal rather than the unintended outcome. I know that from experience. I wonder if John the Baptizer was ever tempted.
This Sunday we hear from John, the guy who baptized Jesus and fulfilled the promise God made through the prophet Malachi. He easily could have been swept up in the recognition he received for it. He had followers of his own. He spoke with an authority that drew listeners from all over. People scrambled into the Jordan to receive the baptism he was proclaiming. He was “it,” the bee’s knees. Sure, a Messiah was coming. But John was doing such a great job in the meantime. What difference would it make if just a few of the folks who followed him believed he was “the guy?” Why couldn’t John be a stand-in Messiah? Did the thought ever cross his mind?
If he struggled with it or not, we’ll never know. But what we do know is that the impression he left everyone, every single Gospel writer, is that his job was to point to Jesus, period. He was bold, charismatic, and tireless in his work for God…for God…period.
You are incredibly gifted. You are empowered by the Spirit to do extraordinary things. Whether you are serving God through teaching, music, engineering, sales, social work, accounting, parenting, retirement or wherever else God has planted you, you can do great things. Have you, in your moments of recognition, pointed to God?
See you Sunday…