Friday, December 12, 2008

Identity and Vocation

What questions would you ask me to know who I am? 
  • What do you do for a living? 
  • How many children do you have and how old are they?
  • What do you like to do with your time off?
  • What's your favorite book or favorite theologian?
And my answers; pastor/2/college-age/ski or golf/depends/Tillich, give you a glimpse of a slice or two of my life. It's a completely different answer from that which John, the one who baptizes, gives in John's gospel. When folks (oi Ἰουδαῖος) 
ask John identity questions, he never gives any personal vocation information, he tells only about Jesus. He's the voice, a mouthpiece that points with his words and his life, to the One Who Comes. 
     It's unnatural, in this day, to be so selfless to the point of disappearing in favor of someone else. John challenges his society and when he gets people's attention, he points. It is a challenge to unite our voice and action in a direction that points so definitely away from self. Some of us can talk, and others just do, but few seem able to pull off a 'John' and point with both our voices and our lives to someone else. Yet its the job description of Christ's church, isn't it? To be pointers so that others may "Know and believe that Jesus is the Christ" as John says. Its a calling, a vocation for sure, and a challenge. Perhaps its time to review our job description.


Chris Brundage said...

There is a Lutheran church in our community that recently moved from a downtown building to a lovely new facility on the edge of town. Their new sign out front says their name with the words "Pointing to Jesus". I like their slogan -- simple enough for a child to understand but also appropriate for adults. Your post made me think of their sign. Grace and peace to you today.

RJ said...

So true... you always cut to the chase. Thank you. And thank you for your encouraging words on my post, too. As we struggle to find honest ways to point to Christ I find great solace in the search with people like you. Blessings.