John In Real Life

Psalm 125; Malachi 3:16-4:6; Mark 9: 9-13

 

“Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the heart of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.” Malachi 4: 5-6

“Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.” Mark 9:12-13

It didn’t look like what I thought it would – the space capsule. It was small and plain and nothing I’d want to spend time in. It looked like a good kick would end it. From a distance, through my television, it was amazing; up close in person, it was just a collection of nuts and bolts.

Why do I expect the miraculous to be overwhelmingly awesome? Super size and high volume don’t guarantee anything other than a long shadow and temporary hearing loss. So why do I expect God’s messenger to be a rock star, crowd pleaser, larger-than-life superman?

John wasn’t powerful among the religious leaders, he didn’t wear expensive clothes or dine at the finest restaurants, he had no army and no money. He just gave witness to God’s presence in this world and saw in Jesus God-With-Us. That’s more than enough: that’s a miracle.

Would I recognize John if I passed him on the street?

Come, Lord Jesus, Come.

Offered on December 17, 2014.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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