I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit – Mark 1:8
John the Baptist was a holy man full of truth and grace. He proclaimed baptism of repentance and forgiveness of sin, wore simple clothes, ate simple food, and taught there was someone greater than himself. There were some Jewish Zealots who sought armed struggle against the Roman oppressors. Others conspired with the occupiers for personal gain. Most simply resigned themselves to their lot. John leads the way above these three states of mind.
Repentance and forgiveness of sin is a far greater calling than militancy. The latter relies on violent human to defeat a human enemy. The former relies on God’s mercy to defeat the spiritual enemy. The later seeks earthly territory. The former desires a place in the heavenly kingdom. One struggles for dominance and the other invites vulnerability. Even in victory, the militant is only temporary. The soul that repents and is forgiven becomes immortal. There is no doubt as to which is greater.
Simple living is greater than feasting founded on corruption. The simple relies on the God who provides to bless the work of his hands. In times of feast or famine, they are sustained for they have God as their resource. Of those who require bribes, theft, and usury; what hope do they have when trouble comes their way? To constantly sell their souls to the highest bidder, or any bidder, for the best meal they can find. As the bidders are mere mortals, their feast is tainted and doomed. Even the morsels of the righteous are more blessed than their banquets.
Awards, honors, and trophies of all sorts may be well deserved. But, they mean little to the Greater One who is coming. The true purpose in life is not to gain human glory. We are called to live in expectation of the one who brings heavenly glory. To indulge in one’s own light is a betrayal to the True Light that gives life to people. John understood his purpose as a voice that proceeds the Coming Sound of the Greater Trumpet.
Let us understand our purpose. Live to bring about healing of ourselves and others, reliant on God and our efforts, constantly seeking his mercy, and expecting him to come into our lives in fullness.
Bro. Cyprian Bluemood
Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene