“John answered them, ‘I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.’” vss. 26-27
John was a person of some notoriety. King Herod knew who he was; the religious leaders in Jerusalem were aware of his ministry; he was attracting thousands of followers from all over Judea. Rumors about his identity were spreading even without social media. Some said he was the messiah, others, Elijah, and still others, that he was one of the prophets. But John himself said that he was none of these; he was a nobody. It was the one who stood among them, the one nobody knew who would turn the world rightside up! What a contrast John provides in our age of celebrity Christianity! By its nature Christianity has always provided fertile territory for charlatans and publicity-seeking preachers. We see these Elmer Gantry types all around, attracting thousands of seekers to their pop-inspired worship extravaganzas. They cozy up to politicians and live like rockstars, and wouldn’t think of embracing John’s humility. And yet the church continues to be a power in our world! Not because of its “stars,” but because of the unknowns who live cheek by jowl with the rest of us. It is in their humble presence that we see the Christ at work, bringing words of hope, forgiveness, joy, and love, even in times like this.
Thought for the Day: What’s attractive about humility?