There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
John: YHWH is gracious…not only kind and generous and hospitable but full of grace and bestowing grace. “There was” in prior days, there actually lived, there existed…we are not asked to believe in fables or fairy tales or even myths, but in history, in what really happened then and therefore what continues to have repercussions even today.
A man: a human being, a person. An individual who lived as we live, who ate, drank, talked, walked, was ecstatic, angry, a teacher, a preacher, unique…
Sent from God: a prophet, sent, chosen, selected before he was born, a miracle baby to a couple beyond child-bearing age. Whose birth was surrounded by miracles, an angel, Gabriel himself, was sent to announce his birth to his father, Zachariah was incredulous and, for this reason of unbelief, was struck dumb until the child was born and to be named. Zachariah shared the fate of all who are incredulous, punishment for unbelief, but it was a loving punishment, for he would not be able to express his joy, his amazement, his hope, his faith which grew as the child grew in his wife’s womb until it burst forth in prophecy, a prophecy which he had contemplated for nine months and which was realized in the naming of his son for the graciousness of God.
This child was given the awareness of the presence, even in the womb of his mother, of the Chosen One, Jesus, the God-Man, the Savior he was to anticipate and precede.
Whose name was John. This is John on John, the Evangelist on the Baptist. It must have struck JE that JB was aptly named….Lk certainly makes us aware of the significance of the Precursor’s name…as if God wanted to underline and bold His mercy personified in this Man…so that we might believe and have faith in God the Merciful, God the Provident, God the Loving, God the Just who would be revealed as God Our Father.
We too, without the fanfare, without the angel, without the miracles, we too were sent from God. Each and every one of us is a part of God’s Providence, God’s plan, God’s graciousness. Ours may be a less prominent role, but a role, nonetheless, which no one else, no one before, during or after us, can play. We are here, at this moment in time, to fulfill God’s purpose on earth. Listen, be still, hear, see, know, God is working with, in and through you, in, with and through me. I may be here sitting at my desk, typing out my meditation, but just as thoughts not just actions, not just words, but thoughts, have consequences in God’s realm, God’s Kingdom, so, somehow, in some mysterious way, united with all, through with and in Jesus, what I am being given, what is being revealed to me, what I stand under and reverently see, humbly receive, is received, seen, understood, by the Church, the Community of God, the People of God in Jesus…and the Kingdom grows. Thus, like John, we are chosen, we are needed, we are sent by God for His purpose…and as we live out our daily lives in accordance with that purpose, His Will, we assist in building the Kingdom, one breath, one moment, one thought, word and action at a time. Amen. Alleluia!!!