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Selflessness - Thought for Now, 6/24/2020
June 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

The story of John the Baptist’s gestation, birth, life, ministry, and death feature prominently in the Gospel of Luke.  It is John the Baptist who leaps in Elizabeth’s womb upon encountering the pregnant Mary, the Mother of Jesus.  Even while in utero, John recognizes something special, something sacred, about his kinsman, Jesus.  The whole of John’s life is spent proclaiming Christ’s coming and celebrating Christ’s arrival.  In one of the few stories that appears in all four Gospels, John baptizes Jesus and initiates Christ’s public ministry.  A lesser-known fact about John is that he had his own disciples in addition to the people he baptized.  Despite his life-long proclamation of the coming of God’s Kingdom in the person of Christ, he manages to gather some disciples of his own who were attracted to his message.  When John encounters the Messiah, Jesus Christ, he tells the people who had been following him to follow Jesus instead.  John’s example of selflessness is one for each of us to imitate.  There may be people or statuses or accolades we want to maintain, that are an important part of our self-understanding.  John’s example shows us, however, that the only status that truly matters is that of Christian.  Our faith in Jesus Christ should be our central identity, no matter the risk.  For telling the truth about Jesus and for standing up for justice, John risks his life and eventually loses it.  We remember John’s birth today and celebrate his legacy of risk without promise of reward.   

Questions for Reflection:

  • How do you leap for joy when encountering Jesus?
  • How can you be a model of Christian selflessness? 
  • What are you willing to risk for the sake of your faith?

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