John – Jesus – see – go – disciples are today's Big Five
John is about “making a straight path for the Lord”.
When you start moving earth you find that there is a awful of of
earth to move.
Many of our canals and railways take a scenic route – not from a
concern for natural beauty but because the Lord of the Manor didn't
want riff-raff looking over his house or garden. We sometimes do this
for SSI sites – but if the need is urgent enough.... HS2 anyone?
Do we want a straight path for the Lord to come into our Church?
Or do we want him to take the scenic route? What do we want this
Advent: challenge or comfort?
Challenge? Really? Don't I have enough challenges going on in my
life, work, relationship, family, finances, health, housing, cell,
“Comfort Food” - what is it for you? Bread and Butter
pudding? Lamb stew and dumplings? Spag Bol? Chocolate? It’s good
and solid and undemanding. It takes you back to Granny’s fireside,
to a time when life was simpler and you had no responsibilities.
Those were the days. These are not those days!
Christmas can be spiritual “comfort food” too. The right menu,
the family tradition, the familiar stories – these can happen at
Christmas Dinner – but also in Church. Memories of Nativities past,
Carols sung, Descants leaned. The right 9 lessons. The sweets and
poppers on the pews. You know where you are with Christmas. Start,
Manger, Animals, Angels, Shepherds, Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. A
young woman peacefully holding a baby. Peace on Earth. Goodwill to
all. It's the scenic route. But Christmas starts with Christ. The
anointed one. Set apart for battle, for confrontation, for death and
resurrection. That's the straight road.
John the Baptist. What are you looking for?
A Reed? Are you looking for someone who will adapt what they say
to what you want to hear? John refused. So did Jesus. He will not
bend to accommodate you. Society may want a gentle Jesus who comes
in humility and lives a life of love and peace until cruelly snuffed
out by the powerful. But that's not Jesus.
A Dandy? Are you looking for someone who is primarily interested
in appearance, comfort and reputation? John lived in the desert and
dressed in camel hair. Jesus was an itinerant preacher with no place
to lay his head. Your appearance , comfort and reputation are of
little concern to Him. Your eternal life is.
A Prophet? Are you looking for someone who will be uncomfortable,
disagreeable, provocative, challenging? Who will bring God into
places where you were not looking for him – your workplace, family,
relationship, finances, internet browser, future? John upset people
in authority – and died because of it. Jesus upset people in
authority and dies because of it. What are you going to do if he
What is there in Advent to bring God into places where you were
not looking for him?John – Jesus – see – disciples – go are
today's Big Five
Look at John. Look again at Jesus. Really see who they are, what
they wopuld ay or do and, if you are a disciple.
In our world, in our nations, in our church, eschew the scenic
Make a straight path for the Lord.