- The text is Mark 1:4-11. John the Baptist. Read before listening.
- Sermon can be downloaded by CLICKING HERE.
Frederick Buechner, Presbyterian minister and author once remarked:
There is no evidence to suggest that anyone ever asked a prophet home for supper more than once. The prophets were drunk on God, and in the presence of their terrible tipsiness, no one was ever comfortable. With a total lack of tact, they roared out against phoniness and corruption wherever they were found.That is, the Prophets made a living out of unsettling the comfortable. They railed against the flab of spiritual arrogance. They railed against Full-blown Sin and Half-baked Faith.
They didn’t want friends. They wanted converts. They wanted people to swap sides. They often looked crazy, dressed crazy, and even ate crazy. And, as far as many were concerned, they spoke crazy.
But they were mesmerizing in many ways.
John the Baptist -- from our gospel reading today -- is just like that. He is the last of the Old Testament Prophets. If you saw him in the subway, you might be tempted to give him a dollar. Until you heard him speak, then you might take it back...
Here is the question I have in this sermon:
Do I want a John the Baptist in my world? Do I want the prophets in my world? Or in my church? Or in my city?
I’d say: "Well, I do and I don’t"
A part of me does not want the Prophets to come near to my life, for I might have to change. But another part of me does want the Prophets to draw near because I want to change. And I know that the repentance he calls for liberates and frees.
There are at least two reasons I don’t want him in my world, and at least two reasons I do.
This sermon explores those two reasons. Click HERE.
Pic on Flickr by LJ.