April 6, 2011

A Little Bit Different

I have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Common English Bible's Lenten Blog Tour as 1 of 41 writers sharing thoughts on various passages throughout Lent. Checkout the blog tour site to follow other great posts happening during Lent.

Matthew 3:1-6
"In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, "Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!" He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:

The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,
"Prepare the way for the Lord;
make his paths straight."

John wore clothes made of camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River."

As we continue our journey through the Lenten wilderness we come across a figure that the passage from Matthew's gospel tells us is John the Baptist. His job was to announce (or herald) the coming salvation through the person of Jesus by urging the people to return to their true allegiance through confessing their sins and being baptized.

One of the things I find fascinating about John the Baptist is that he's just a little bit different. I mean think about it...a guy comes rolling on the scene from the desert, calling people out for their sins, and telling them the kingdom of heaven has come near all while wearing camel hair and eating grasshoppers. The other fascinating part to me...THE PEOPLE RESPONDED!

I can't help but think that perhaps, just maybe, those of us who call ourselves Christians should be just a little bit different. I'm not suggesting that we wear crazy clothes or yell at people about their sins. I am suggesting that there should be something different about the people called Christians that causes others to respond. I would argue there has to be. Something different about the words we use, the way we spend our time, and the way we treat people. If not, it seems as though we might be missing something.