January 2, 2016
The good news for the day
John answered people who asked who he was—whether he was the Messiah: “I am baptizing people with water; but someone is approaching from among you—someone you don’t recognize, someone coming after me—whose shoelace I’m not fit to untie.” (John 1)
These words put into John’s mouth some decades later are the Good News addressing you with a challenge. Baptism with water is not enough. A mechanical ritual, a significant gesture falls short of the day-to-day Person who counts in helping to save you.
The words—someone you don’t recognize,”—reminds you that Jesus comes unacknowledged, hidden, surprising and mysterious. He is at your door, and across the table. He is in the store and parking lot. He is sleeping on a park bench and wears a turban. He has dark skin and He has blond hair. He is sick and he is a woman that you see in the favorite restaurant who sits by herself with old-fashioned clothing.
If, as Jesus says in many ways, He is “the least of the family members,”—and we actually hear and believe that as truth, then He approaches you as anyone and everyone—expecting your respect, looking for your help, and anticipating your response. However bad a person in front of you seems—arrogant, sex-weak, angry, jealous, greedy or suffering—that person brings you challenge to respect him or her, to see there the challenge that is Jesus entering into your life.
As this year begins, John calls you to change, to see and hear, to allow the Life to make your life meaningful, to awaken to new discoveries and see in your neighbor a Presence that mirrors your own best-ness. The Good News is that discovery.