Thursday, November 29, 2007

Advent Devotional...7

Odd Things

Quinn G. Caldwell

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Mark 1:4-8

Camel hair, locusts, the desert: make no mistake, John the Baptist was a distinctly odd man. Then again, prophets tend to be at least a little bit odd, for the God for whom they speak tends to do some pretty odd things--like entering history as a human being. So we Christians do a lot of odd things of our own. We sprinkle water on ourselves and call it salvation, we share meals and believe that God sits at table with us, we proclaim that the poorest and most broken are dearest of all, we seek to create peace amid war, we proclaim that our flawed and broken churches are the very body of God in the world. Make no mistake: these are not things that the world considers normal. And yet they are the stuff we are made of, the signs we're known by. They are the way God continues to speak to God's odd people.

Prayer: O loving creator of all things, help me to live as St. Paul urged: help me to be in this world but not of it. By the grace of my baptism, make me odd to every way of the world that is not yours. Give me the strength to live less as a product of this world, more as a citizen of your coming realm, and so let me participate in your turning the one into the other. Amen.

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