Monday, December 01, 2008

Coffee with John the Baptist

I wonder what it would have been like to have a cup of coffee with John the Baptist? I’m sure it would not have been dull. If I could get him to stop asking me to repent long enough, we might have a conversation.

“What’ll it be, John?” I’d ask.
“I’ll take a Double Locust Espresso with a Wild Honey Drizzle,” he would reply.
“Mmm. I’ll just have the Pumpkin Spice, please.”
Coffee ordered, we’d sit at a table far away from the counter. “So John, how’s life treating you these days?” I’d say.
“Well, it’s good. People are coming from all over to listen. I’ve been dunking people in the river right and left. But my camel fur underwear is pretty itchy, and my feet are all pruney. By the way, have you thought about repenting and being baptized? It would be very good for you, you know.”
“Yes, John, I have, thanks for asking. Listen, I could get you some softer clothes, maybe. And a pair of wading shoes might help.”
“No, no. I’m not worthy of that kind of luxury. Besides, it’s not really about me, anyway, is it?”
“What do you …? Oh right, the one coming after you, I remember. What’s up with that again?”
Tapping his hand on the edge of the table nervously, John would say, “You know, you really should give serious consideration to repentance. It would be in your best interest. But yeah, as to that one coming after me who is more powerful than I and I’m not even worthy to untie his shoe, I’m kinda getting people ready for him. By the way, are you?”
“Am I what?”
“Ready for him?”

Are you? Are you ready? Expect a messenger – one who will prepare the way, make the path straight. Sometimes I wonder if we’re even ready for the messenger, much less the one who is being announced.

Are you ready?

1 comment:

steveh said...

Your question of “Are you ready?” reminded me of another story. It ain’t one about John the Baptizer, but it does go back 150 years or so. A lady of wealth, residing in a fashionable part of town, was thrown into great nervous excitement by an unexpected question. The circumstances were as follows: A funeral was to take place in her neighborhood, and the undertaker, mistaking the direction stopped with a coffin and hearse in front of her house, and as the servant opened the door, inquired “Are you ready?” The lady reaching the foot of the stairs at that moment, saw the hearse, and heard the inquiry. The shock was great; and being an invalid almost fainted. As she entered the parlor, where a clergyman was waiting to see her, she apologized for her agitation, and exclaimed, “Oh, what a fright I have had!” When the explanation was given, the clergyman turning to her, said, in a kind but serious tone “Well madam, it is an important question and one which we should all deeply ponder”
Are YOU ready?