getting out the WORD - the third sunday of advent PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
Stir up the wills of your faithful people, Lord God, and open our ears to the words of your prophets, that, anointed by your Spirit, we may testify to your light; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.

John 1:6-8 , John 1:19-28

the DEVOTION...
Like I've said before, John - the gospel-writer - marches to a different beat. He tells the story of Jesus like all the rest, but he tells it his own way. Take, for instance, this week's reading...

In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, John is identified as "the baptizer." Never in the gospel according to. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke, the baptizer proclaims a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin. Not so in the book of John. In Matthew and Luke, the baptizer preaches an axe at the roots and a winnowing fork in hand. In John's good news, not a word is written.

In the 'fourth' gospel, John - "the baptizer" - has one purpose and one purpose alone. Not proclaiming unquenchable fire. Or for that matter, even baptizing. It's to witness! To testify! To point at Jesus and say, "Behold! God's Lamb! The one who takes away the sin of the world!" And we - the church - do the same. NOT make threats! NOT issue ultimatums! NOT, even, exhort people to bear fruit. Sharing the extra. Collecting no more. Refusing to extort! We're here, simply, to point at Jesus! Point at Jesus and tell the world, "This is the one!" And Jesus takes it from there!

Bob Barndt, pastor

 
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