Third Sunday of Advent: Dec. 15     

Matthew 11:2-11

When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?”

Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see:  the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”

As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who wear soft robes are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’ Truly 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.

 

from Jamie Gump, Madison Avenue Christian Church, Huntington

“Well, isn’t that special?” says the Church Lady, Dana Carvey’s spoof of a holier-than-thou Christian on Saturday Night Live.   But she doesn’t really mean it.  Her words are full of sarcasm and condescension, for she’s sure that she is superior.          Jesus says sincerely of John the Baptizer that there has not been a greater human being.  Is this because of his willingness to be a messenger to prepare the way for Christ?  Seems so.  And yet Jesus finishes by saying that in the realm of heaven the least shall be greater than John.

In God’s community, the last will be first.  In God’s fellowship, greatness is not earned.  In God’s communion, greatness comes in our being in relationship with God.  I hear Jesus saying, “Well, ain’t you special!”  And he means it.  You are special to God.

Lord, thank you for the specialness

of living in relationship with you.

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