Advent 12/1/22 Sacred Time

See Jesus
Thursday, December 1

John 1:19-23 (NRSV)
This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed and did not deny it, but he confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 
He said,
“I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness,
‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said.

Have you ever been misidentified? A person approaches you and calls you someone else’s name. You are happy to see the person only to hear someone else’s name as he greets you. It has happened to me many times. I have been called every one of my sisters’ names more than a couple of times. I have been identified several times as a teacher whose last name is the same as mine. And many times, I had no name at all; I was just one of 6 siblings.  I have longed to be identified as me. I mentioned to one of my twin sons that I just want people to know who I am, and he said, “tell me about it!” I guess it could be worse.

John the Baptist had no problem with not being identified. His identity was not important to him. In fact, when asked who he was, John said who he was not: “He was not the Messiah.” He wanted to make that point clear. So, the priests and Levites started guessing. Elijah? The prophet? But John said he was not any of them. He did not give his name or where he was from. John only said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” John knew it was important for the people to hear his voice and his declaration. Confess your sins. Clean up your heart. Be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. “Make straight the way of the Lord.” His voice pointed to, acknowledged, and declared Jesus as the Lamb of God. John truly knew that Jesus is the most important person of all and should be identified above all others. John felt his identity was of least importance to himself and should be to others.

John can teach me a lot about how I view my identity and its importance in life. My identity should not be about me.  It should be about who God is.

Don’t see me, see Jesus.
                                                                             -Linda Siebert

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