“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” vs. 11
A fire burned within John the Baptist. He knew that God was close and that change was coming. But like all prophets he likely also knew that his time was limited. He had offended too many powerful people and his movement was beginning to be seen as a threat. Soon the opposition would act to silence him. They were such fools! What had begun in John was from God and the mission wouldn’t end with his death. The Spirit would simply fall on another, a prophet more powerful than he, and in him the fire would continue to grow and spread. Humans can be silenced, but God cannot be contained. John knew that and in confidence announced to his opponents that they hadn’t seen anything yet. God is and cannot be contained–and it’s still happening. Leaders come and go. Congregations are birthed, flourish for a time, and then quietly die, but God keeps coming. New leaders are chosen and new communities burst into bloom, and with each manifestation the kingdom of heaven draws ever nearer. What a God we have! The harvest of new fruits will never end until all the chaff is burned away!
Thought for the Day: When I am silenced, who will speak?