DAY 32: Service
Do You Get It?
…people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah…
John doesn't get it. John thinks he understands; the people around him who come to hear him and be baptized also seem to think John understands. But he doesn't. John just doesn't get it. The people around him even begin thinking he's the Messiah--the one who has come to save them. But John knows this much--the Messiah is still to come. John just doesn't understand what that really means.
Jesus doesn't come as John thinks he will, at least not fully. John calls the people to repentance (to change their ways), warning them that if they don't, they will be punished. John's still operating the way the world operates. He's still operating under the "You do good, you'll be rewarded; you do wrong, you'll be punished" model. When Jesus comes, he throws that model out.
Jesus points out that we can't do enough good to cause God to reward us. But instead of punishing us, God (through Jesus) rewards us before we even have a chance to do good or wrong. On the cross, God proved that God loves us first, before anything else. John doesn't understand, but he knows enough to point us to taking care of other people who are God's children just as much as we are (see v. 11). God loves us, and then points us to take care of the world.
John doesn't get it, really. We don't get it, really. But the Good News is that it doesn't matter. God rewards us with the promise of eternal life first, and calls us to action second.
How have I seen or experienced God's love from another person? How can I become God's love for another person?
Compassionate and loving God, help me to see your love, and to then look beyond myself so that others can see your love through me. Amen
Eat lunch with someone who seems on the outer edges of society. Maybe someone at school or work whom no one else likes; maybe someone who needs to eat at a soup kitchen. Ask them about their life, where they've been, what they like to do, who's in their family, etc. Treat this person as you would treat Christ, and they will see God's Spirit in yours.
contributed by Pastor Matthew Bolz-Weber