So, today we meet the adult John the baptizer once again. He first appeared to us in Advent, when we saw him appear in the wilderness of Bethany at the exact location where Elijah had been taken up. We heard from him promises--big giant promises--that someone would come after John, whose sandals he was not fit to untie. He claimed to be a messenger for the Lord, preparing the way for the coming of the One for which all creation had been longing.
Now it's the following day from when John made the pronouncement about the One who is to come. On this day he spots Jesus coming toward him, and he yells out, "Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" (John 1:29 NRSV) Wow. Talk about embarrassing the guy! All the attention is thrust on Jesus in such a way that now you cannot say you don't know his name. You can picture it can't you? The Baptist pointing at Jesus and jumping up and down making his pronouncement. It must have been an odd scene.
The scene is made even more awkward by the fact that these two cousins apparently haven't seen one another for some time. John says, "I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel." (John 1:31 NRSV) This must have been some kind of family reunion! In any event John has begun to realize his stated purpose. He is pointing to Jesus. He is telling anyone who will listen: "He's the One!"
For several days now we have met characters in the story of Jesus who seem to be looking in the right places and the right ways for the promised Lord and Messiah. So, when God did finally visit them in the flesh, they were ready to meet him. On this seventh day of Christmas are you looking in the right place and in the right ways to meet the Savior...your Savior? Think about the joy we have in "spotting" Jesus at work in the world. Celebrate his coming to you right where you are. Give glory to the God who made you, and who heals you. He's the One! He's the only One.
The bells of Christmas chime once more:The heav'nly guest is at the door. He comes to earthly dwellings still With new year gifts of peace, good will.
This world, though wide and far outspread, Could scarcely find for you a bed. Your cradle was a manger stall, No pearl nor silk nor kingly hall.
Come, Jesus, glorious heavenly guest, And keep your Christmas in our breast; Then David's heartstrings, hushed so long, Shall swell our jubilee of song.--Nikolai F.S. Grundvig