May we be attuned to your messages, regardless of the messenger.
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
It is so easy to get distracted by the portrait of John the Baptist. Was it normal to eat locusts, and were they insects or nuts? Did people wear skins or cloth? Was John wild-eyed like Doc in Back to the Future? All great questions. All less relevant questions than “what was that message of repentance?” or “where did his humility and foreknowledge come from?” We get distracted by the slick productions beckoning us to spend money we should not on thing that don’t really satisfy us. Instead of listening to the oddball proclaiming our need to change, we listen to the culture telling us not to change.
In this season, may the bright, shiny objects that distract us come from the crèche instead of from under the tree. Amen.