Isaiah 40:1-11 and Mark 1:1-8
Upon Further Reflection
I forgot to tell you that John the Baptist was an artist. In all my comparisons between John the Baptist and teens on Sunday, I forgot to say that. It's an insight by Richard Rohr, that John the Baptist shaped containers for the Holy Spirit; he shaped pathways for God. He was never confused between the object he was making and the spirit it held within it in the way we are often confused. In church life, we often mistake the container for the contained.
I don't know about the kids you know, but the ones I know are always making stuff. From an early age, they are always, always building, molding, creating. My son has been out at 7am for the past week in the 25F mornings hammering on the fence. He says he's working and fixing and building. My daughter's hands never weary of shaping paper, wax, candy wrappers, you name it, all of it transformed into stuff she has an internal logic for making. It's all a mystery how these things appear at her fingertips. Kids have this inherit creative drive. We need this drive in our churches if we are meant to renew. And in the midst of all that messiness as we embrace the spirit of our prophets, our kids, we can't forget...Jesus was a crafter of containers, a sculptor, an artist. The wild thing though is this: it is us he's always tinkering with.