Invitation and Preparation
O God, make speed to save us
O Lord, make haste to help us
Let us pray:
Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true: to you be praise and glory for ever. Your prophet John the Baptist was witness to the truth as a burning and shining light. May we your servants rejoice in his light, and so be led to witness to him who is the Lord of our coming kingdom, Jesus our Savior and King of the ages. Amen.
Listen and Receive
Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and the violent take it by force. For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John, and if you are willing to accept it, he is Elijah who is to come. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.
May the Word of God rest gently on our hearts, that when our hearts break the Word of God may flow in.
Reflect and Respond
Jesus proclaims that even though John sits in a prison cell, he is a prophet and more than a prophet. He is the one sent to prepare the way for the Messiah. No mortal ever born of flesh is greater than John. John is greater even than those who imprison him. He is greater than Herod, greater than Pilate, greater even than Caesar. Even in all of this greatness, the very least of those born of Spirit into the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than John.
We look around us and see what we think is greatness. We see the talented, the rich, the famous, the powerful, the successful, the people we could never be like. We look according to the flesh and forget that we are born of Spirit. Even in our smallness and suffering, we are greater because we are children of the Kingdom of Heaven. We are greater because we are loved by the One who is truly great.
I wonder, in what ways might God be inviting you to experience hope in His love and greatness? In what ways might others be seeing the greatness of the Kingdom in you?
Blessed and Sent
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
In this season of light, may your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.