The Last Great Prophet
Celebrating John The Baptist
Six months before we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we remember John the Baptist, on June 24th. John’s calling was formed while he was still in the womb of his mother, Elizabeth. The unborn child jumped at the sound of Mary’s voice, recognizing that she too was with child. John is the bridge from the Old Testament to the New. The prophet Isaiah spoke of him and so did Malachi. He was the one who would prepare the way of the Lord.
John, The Outsider
John the Baptist has always been one of the most intriguing men in all of human history. He was an outsider meaning he lived anything but a normal conservative life. He prepared for his role in salvation by spending his life in the desert (Luke 1:80), which must have been 30 years. We know that when he began his short, public ministry, he must have been a rugged sight as he made his appearance after all those years in the wilderness. Since the wilderness is generally a solitary, lonely place we can assume that John spent most of those years alone. This powerful time in communion with God was instrumental in preparing him for what was to come. If there is anything we can learn from John and his life is that time alone with God can not only give us strength but it can empower us. With wild hair, a leather belt holding his camel hair robe, nourished from a diet of wild locusts and honey, he preached a message of truth and repentance and people listened. He preached baptism and people were baptized. That’s charisma! What about us?
Our lives are filled with so much activity how can we possibly find time alone with God? Where do we find time to study our Bible? We are all called to speak the truth like John the Baptist did. He prepared the way for Jesus who gave his life so that we could live. It is up to us to live the life God gave us.