Lent 2011 - The Jesus Interruption
Each week of this season, we will be entering into the experience of an individual whose life was interrupted by an encounter with Jesus. This week - John the Baptist (John 1:19-23).
"I am the voice."
It's pretty audacious, isn't it? To quote a scriptural prophecy and insert your own name in the blank? Wow.
The only other person I recall doing that was Jesus himself (Luke 4). At least he does it with some elegance and nuance - "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing." Kind of leaves it open for dialogue. (What exactly did he mean by that? Is he saying it's him or does he mean someone else?)
But not so the Baptizer; he just plunges in. "You know that scripture about the voice crying out in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord? Remember that one? Well, you're looking at him!" Hello!
But on second thought, what's wrong with it? I mean, shouldn't we all be claiming to be a "voice for Jesus?" Shouldn't we all be announcing Christ, speaking peace, conveying love and grace, urging repentance? And where there are circumstances in the world that are not as God intends them, should we not speak aloud, 'God's will be done on earth as in heaven!'?
The breakthrough moment in the movie "The King's Speech" is when King George VI is challenged by his teacher, "Why should I listen to you?"
Finally pushed to the point of understaning, he shouts, "Because I have a voice!"
I have a voice. As do you. Will we announce Christ? Will we interrupt the regular pattern of our conversation and allow the love of God to comprise our language?
Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.