The Herald of Christ: The BIG Picture
I had only moved in my new apartment a few months prior to being informed by my new roommate we would be hosting a Christmas Party at our apartment. I LOVE Christmas, so the idea sounded good to me, until...
“Wait... how big is this party going to be?”
From what I could tell, Stephanie (my new roommate) had invited EVERYONE she was friends with on Facebook. I had invited maybe 10 friends… and only a handful were going to be able to attend. Basically, I would know no one. And I was beginning to get a little nervous.
Stephanie responded to my question with something like:
“Well I always extend the invitation to everyone... obviously, not everyone comes. But that’s what makes it fun! It’s a chance to catch up with some people I only see once a year. Even if they don’t plan to come, they appreciate the invitation.”
All I could do was laugh to myself and think “Wow. Stephanie really is the definition of extrovert...” and try to hide the fact that this upcoming party was going to push me way beyond my normal comfort zone.
At the beginning of living with Stephanie, I quickly agreed with her self-proclaimed title of "extrovert." As the months (and eventually years) of living with her went past, Stephanie would come up a lot in conversations with my friends. I got into the habit of giving a brief introduction explaining her personality, especially before I introduced her to new people.
You see, Stephanie is rare in that she has a larger than life personality; which, if one is not prepared, could come across as slightly overwhelming. However, the more I experienced life with Steph, I learned that while extremely outgoing, she’s also a great mix of fun, charisma, spunk, hospitality, kindness, warmth, depth, and love.
Having heard my full description prior to meeting Stephanie, there existed for my friends and family a bigger picture into who she is, even if they only experienced one or a few of the traits described.
Just like I had to describe Stephanie to help others understand her, John the Baptist described the coming Messiah to Israel in order to help prepare their hearts to meet Him.
For someone who possibly never met Jesus until later in life, he did a dang good job! And he did this by intimately knowing the character of God. John grew up studying the Scriptures, which are packed full of prophecies of who Jesus was to be.
John presented the BIG picture first: our need for Him as a Savior.
Then he went further… presenting a call to action: John’s baptism by water. This public announcement by baptism proclaimed a new way of seeing the coming Savior and of stepping into a life that obeys God’s commands, not for rule's sake, but in order to extend God’s same love and grace towards others (Luke 3:10-14).
John seemed to understand the Scriptures like few others did before him. He saw God’s character of loving kindness and patient love, and he saw that there was no way to salvation without the saving hand of God. He wanted everyone he saw to understand this too. The Savior was coming… and coming soon!
The good news for us in all of this? It means we don’t have to wait to physically meet Jesus for the picture to make sense for us. For most of you, my description of my friend Stephanie will remain a description because you haven’t had a chance to experience who she is. But, just as John did, we too can know God’s true character because it is explicitly told to us through Scripture. AND if our eyes are open and our ears are willing to hear, we can experience Him in our lives as well!
Let’s not get caught up in the motions of life, but instead allow ourselves to be aware of His presence in our lives. For then, we will truly see and know Him.
This is a guest post written by Kari Streugert.