Our Role

Our Role
“Belizean Blessings" by Darcy Chable

John 1:19-29

To be in community requires individuals to know and live out their roles. It is clear that John knew his role. When asked by the priests and Levites sent by the Pharisees, “Who are you?” John responded, "I am not the Messiah.” And when asked if he was Elijah, he said, “I am not.” When asked if he was “the prophet,” he said, “no.” What he was, however, was “a voice crying out in the wilderness,” whose role was to declare there was “one who is coming after me.” Jesus’ role in the community was different. He was the Messiah, the one, as John declares, “who takes away the sin of the world” (verse 29). Both John and Jesus knew, at least in part, that their role was to create and sustain their community.

It is important to realize that the priests and Levites who came to interrogate John were also part of the community. But in contrast to John and Jesus, those who came from Jerusalem believed their role was to sabotage the community rather than build it up. The Pharisees who sent these priests also wanted to disrupt the community through their unwillingness to recognize that the long hoped-for Messiah was at hand, in spite of the fact that there were many followers of John who did. For centuries the Jews were waiting and anticipating the coming of the Messiah.

So, what does this mean for us today? Do you know your role in the community? Are you like John in that you are a voice who tells others about Jesus? Do you share with others our great anticipation of his return? Have you repented and are ready for what is to come? Or are you like the priests/Levites who sought to sabotage or disrupt their community?

Prayer: God, help us to know our roles within our communities so that we may help create and sustain a world that is welcoming and open to all. Amen.

Deb Pattee is Wisconsin Conference United Methodist Women, Mission Coordinator for Spiritual Growth

Posted or updated: 12/3/2016 11:00:00 PM

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“In November 2014, we started another detention ministry at Gants Khodag Detention Center. We have been ministering to the people by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are reminded of Matthew 25:31-46 as we minister to the people who sit in the detention center. May God continue to work in our lives to build up God’s kingdom.” –Sun Lae Kim, General Board of Global Ministries missionary, Mongolia

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