Faith Daily | 10 December 2020
PRAYER of the Week| ADVENT TWO: APBA p.466
who sent your messenger John the Baptist
to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation:
give us grace to heed his warning and forsake our sins,
that we may greet with the joy the coming of our Redeemer,
Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 11: 11-15
11Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. 13For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John came; 14and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. 15Let anyone with ears listen!
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Rev'd Jan
Advent season is proving we hear more about John the Baptist at this time than any other time in the church year… he is popping up everywhere! But never by himself, in isolation. His complete identity is tied up with Jesus – he has no other purpose than to prepare the way for Jesus, identify Jesus as ‘the one’, the Messiah of the prophecy, baptise Jesus as the beloved Son of God …. And then John is gone from the narrative. He appears briefly to send a message to Jesus to get assurance that he is indeed ‘the one’; and we hear the ghastly account of his death by beheading.
Each Christian is also called to have no other identity except in relationship to Jesus Christ. We prepare the way for Jesus in the example of our life; we proclaim Jesus as ‘the one’, the Lord; we are baptised in the Holy Spirit to call us into the ministry of Christ. We also have to face our mortality, and the unknowing of how we will actually die. (I pray for not a beheading ) No one has arisen greater than John the Baptist; and yet he is the least….. I can only surmise that Jesus was stating the extraordinary role John fulfilled in announcing the Day of the Lord. And yet John was not part of the ‘full Gospel’ in his lifetime as Jesus’ work was not completed before John died.
However we know John is with God and lives on for all of us in his obedience into true identity with Jesus Christ.
From Psalm 85: Righteousness shall go before our God, and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.
FINAL PRAYER: AAPB p.276
God our Father
You raised up John the Baptist
to prepare a perfect people for Christ the Lord.
Give your Church joy in spirit
and guide those who believe in you
into the way of salvation and peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.