John the Baptist. Our first encounter with him is via Elizabeth’s womb. We render that scene rather impotent by restricting John to a leap. I’ve never heard a pregnant woman use that word. Maybe kick, grind, push, wrench, thrust. But leap? No. Then he emerges years later as one living in the womb of wilderness. And we restrict him again to words like risky and dangerous, words which we use today to describe the bad boys and girls of Hollywood. How laughable. No, he was wild. But even more than that. John was a brief and harsh winter. His scriptured voice still kicks against the opening, pushes from the margins, wrenches toward the light. John doesn’t care about our poetry, our platform, our missional strategy, the number of conferences we’ve attended or headlined, our ministry legacy, our theological colors, or how many followers or friends we just know we have.
The advent of John is an omen. His message? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. Or as he would cry today: If you’re sorry, then live like it. If not, brace yourself. For another perspective on this passage be sure to visit Winn’s place – http://winncollier.com.
John was a brief and harsh winter. The advent of the ineffable light was yet to wade into the manuscript. John would soon be silent and say
Behold, the Lamb of fire who will
melt the marrow of the world.