Scripture: John 1:19-28
Key verse: (20) He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.”
Reflection: John was preaching and teaching in the wilderness, and was baptizing anyone who wanted to turn their lives around and have a visual symbol of a fresh start for their faith. When religious leaders asked him “Who are you?” John responded “I am not the Messiah.”
Knowing who you are NOT is an important part of self-discovery. You are not your parents though you are shaped by them and by their patterns. You are not your work with its successes and its failures though you might be very committed to working with integrity. You are not your family or your children though your relationships with them will bind you to them forever.
And, like John, you are not the Messiah. You are not the Creator of the universe. You are not the Savior of the world. You are not the giver of perfect grace. Know who you are not.
You are human. You have limits. You can’t do everything. You can’t meet everyone else’s expectations. You will fall short, fall down, fall by the wayside, and fall apart sometimes. Like John, you can be a witness who points toward the Messiah. You can share the good news, telling the stories of how God has worked in your life and offering grace to those who need it. Knowing who you are not enables you to be who you are and embrace your role in the kingdom. Knowing you are not worthy will help you see that you are always welcome in God’s plan.
Prayer: God, you sent John the Baptist to prepare the way for the coming of your Son. Give me wisdom to see you and openness to hear you, so that I too may prepare the way for Christ in the world. Through Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].