Sunday, December 14, 2008

the hearing

Read John 1:6-8, 19-28; 3:25-30

"This room will come to order," the chair intones. "This hearing is for the purpose of obtaining the facts concerning this person who has appeared in our midst, who seems to be causing a great deal of controversy among our people. The first witness has been sworn in. Would you please identify yourself for this committee?"

"I am called John the Baptist."

Shuffling some papers until he finds the right document, the chair asks, "Mr. Baptist, are you the light that has come into the world?"

"No, Senator, I am not. And please, call me John."

"If you are not the light, then who are you?"

"I am simply the one who draws people from the shadows of this world, and of their lives, so they can find the Light."

"Well then, are you this word we have heard about, that is supposed to have been from the beginning of all time?"

"No, I am not the Word. But I do use words to introduce people who, having been deafened by all the noise of our culture, need to be able to hear that Word that can silence their fears, which can speak to their concerns, which can answer their questions, which can whisper songs of joy and peace into their ears."

"Well, I guess I am unclear as to why you are here before our committee," states the chair. "Just who in the world are you?"

"Senator, have you ever been to a wedding?"

"Of course, many, many times. I attend one almost every weekend."

"Then you will remember there comes that moment in the service when the bridegroom appears at the front of the congregation, just as everything is about to begin. Well, I am the one who has stood with the bridegroom and fixed his tie into a perfect shape. I am the friend who brushes the lint off of his tuxedo. I am the good friend who reminds him to smile at the bride as she comes down the aisle so she won't turn to him in 25 years and ask why he didn't smile on their wedding day. I am the one who whispers, 'walk slowly,' as he steps out, and I go to the back of the church to dim the lights so that only he can be seen. I am the one who shushes all the latecomers so they can hear his voice. I am simply the friend of the bridegroom, thanking God for the gift of serving him, and the privilege of getting out of the way."


Prayer: Help us to step back into the shadows, Bridegroom of all humanity, so that others might see you, hear your words, and rejoice that you have come to us at last. Amen.

(c) 2008 Thom M. Shuman

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