How about another “scary twist”? In the first chapter of Luke, there is an intensifying progression from the foretelling of John the Baptist’s birth to that of the Messiah’s birth. Both births were miraculous and led to a mysterious destiny that will forever be linked. But, as great as John is to become, his most significant role and calling is to serve as a precursor to Jesus the Messiah. His life, his vocation only has meaning in relation to Jesus. In fact, I would argue that the author of Luke-Acts is making the same case, in Acts, for the Holy Spirit infused church’s meaning and vocation is only significant in relation to the second coming of Christ.
So, here lies the other twist. As John the Baptist goes, so do I. You and I, the church, are called to a life of prophetic renewal. Maybe we could improve upon John’s “people skills” and not to wear camel’s hair and eat only locust and honey (but the latter might not be too bad for us!) Regardless of different personalities, we are called to speak truth to power. To live a life that cuts against the grains of this world. Not just against bad or immoral people, but institutions and systems that continually grind humanity under the insatiable stimulus of pride, profit, and power.
What a scary proposition. It gives me Goosebumps! It makes me quite uncomfortable to think that God is calling me to a life outside of my comfort zone. But, as in all areas of life, if you want results and growth, you have to get uncomfortable. We are called to share the significance of our story: the hurts, the disappointments, the pain and the redeeming glimpses and possibilities of God along the way. Yet, our personal stories only have lasting significance and meaning in relationship to the grander narrative of Christ. We are called to bear witness and prepare the way for the Second Advent! May we pray today to have courage to face our fears, stick our neck out, and live the life that God has called us to! God is giving us the possibility to be a source of great joy, gladness, and rejoicing! Let’s not miss God’s hope for us, living our story as a reflection of the greatest story of unending love.
“Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” Luke 1:13-15
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)