If you saw John the Baptist while you were driving down LOVR, you’d make sure your door was locked.
John knew who he was, and what his mission was.
And he also knew—and this is what I really want to talk about this morning—he also knew who he wasn’t.
The religious powers-that-be in his day asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the descendant of King David?” “No,” he replied. “Are you Elijah?” Again, “no.” “Or a prophet?” John says “no” once again.
Tradition was that the prophet Elijah or another great prophet would return before the Messiah came.
John knew he wasn’t them. He knew who he wasn’t. And that created the space in him to say who he was.
“Who are you?” they finally ask, frustration and impatience oozing all over the place.
He said, “I’m a witness. I’m someone who testifies to the light.”
I’m someone who points to the light.
John was only able to be this witness because he kept in mind who he wasn’t.
And that’s something I don’t think we spend enough time thinking about. Who we’re not.
There are so many voices trying to tell us who we are because it’s easier to make us do what they want, or buy what they want, or think the way they want.
We’re bombarded with messages of who we’re supposed to be.
We need to speak up like John the Baptist did, and say that we are not like everyone else.
I invite you to speak up and speak out that you are different.
Love of neighbor.
Love of children.
Love of creation.