Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tell John

The 3rd Sunday in Advent has one of the semi-contraversial readings in Scripture, Matthew 11:2-11, where John sends his own disciples (he's in the clink) to ask Jesus, "Are You the One who is to come, or shall we look for another?"

Many people, good men who I know and respect, will explain so as John is really just trying to point his own disciples to Jesus so they are cared for after he is silver platter surprise at the royal party. However, that just doesn't sit well with me, because of what Jesus says.

"Go and tell John what you hear and see. . . ." Go and tell John. Jesus doesn't tell these folks to forget John and follow Him; our Lord instructs them to go and preach to John.

We can forget (or pretend) that the preachers of God's Word don't need to be hearers. That isn't true - we need to receive the Word ourselves. We need encouragement. We need to have the Word of God proclaimed to us - especially in life and death situations.

I am reminded here of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch, powerful Christian writings. Ignatius is on his way to death - and he writes beautiful words... but he also always gives thanks for the support, the preaching and succor of the Sacrament that he himself has received.

This is the point of the text - Christ Jesus is the Messiah, and that is something we always need to hear, to hear anew. Life in a fallen world can oppress us - even we who know the Truth - the world will try to stamp that out. Preachers - hear you the Word yourselves so that you are bolstered in the faith!

1 comment:

Rev Rydecki said...

I agree with you about John. (And the rest, too.)