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Wedding vow

by davesandel on December 16th, 2012

Wedding vow

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Third Week of Advent

Matthew 17:9-12

The crowds asked John the Baptist, “What should we do?”  And he said, “Whoever has two cloaks should share with the person who has none.”  Then he said, “One mightier than me is coming, and he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”

I am so determined to make it on my own.  My pride is strong and so much a part of me that I don’t even realize how determined I am, until I am shoved powerless up against a wall.  This happens occasionally.  Thank God.

Like John the Baptist, ethicists have long known how to make the world a better place to live.  But we don’t do what we know we should do.  When Paul used the first person singular pronoun in Romans 7, he was truly describing all of us together as well.  We are determined to make it on our own, and we are going to fail.

Thank God.  Jesus is mightier than all of this “determination.”  John the Baptist deprived himself of comfort, food, companionship – attempting to accomplish union with God.  Then Jesus came, and John recognized that the Mightier One had arrived.  Clearly now, those efforts of his were not the point.  Jesus was.  All of what he did himself was turned inside out by God’s love.

When I look toward the baptizing river and open my eyes a little wider, there is Jesus.  Dove on his shoulder, light shining toward me – and I am undone.  Thank God.

To live like you, Jesus, I must settle into the place I’ve been given in the world.  You are the maker, I am the made.  You are the leader, I follow you.  When you put the ring on my finger, I hear you say to me – and only then can I mean it when I repeat back to you, “With all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.”

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