Point to the Lord

Happy Feast of the Baptism of the Lord! As we leave behind the Christmas season and head back to Ordinary Time, we are left with the beautiful scene of Christ’s Baptism and the Father’s proclamation “You are my Beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

So often when I read the Gospels, I focus on Jesus. He is the Healer, Savior, Redeemer. However, as I read this Gospel, my heart turned toward John the Baptist and the wisdom he can offer.

“The people were filled with expectation and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.”

We have just left seasons of great expectation in our liturgical season of Advent but also in our world of cultural (and often secular) versions of Christmas and New Years— times filled to the brim with preparations and hopes. It’s so easy to get lost in the gatherings planned, meals prepared, and presents wrapped. There is expectation and anticipation of the Christ-child, but often our expectations and focus turn towards the reactions to gifts, the warmth of the company, and the taste of a holiday meal.

The expectation in the hearts of the people of Israel on the brink of Christ’s public ministry was palpable, and they knew that John was someone special—maybe even the Messiah. But John humbly tells them, “I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming…” In the middle of all the expectation surrounding him, he points them all to Christ.

We can learn a lot from this humility. When the expectations are high and people see greatness in me, do I point them to Christ? Do I answer the call God has given me but remember to leave room for Him? Or do I seek the glory? Do I let go of the control enough to let God play His part, or do I cling to trying to do it all myself? Our fallen human nature yearns to hold tight to the control and to be affirmed by others, but what our hearts are truly seeking are those words uttered to us by the Father, “You are my beloved.”

This doesn’t mean we should sit back and do nothing. God has put a call on our hearts. He has created us with a purpose. John’s role in the history of salvation was important, and he didn’t shy away from it. We must, like John, courageously do our part to advance Christ’s kingdom and prepare His way in the lives of others.

As I look back on the holiday season, the places where my greatest joy and peace was found was in the moments I stopped trying to be the perfect host and let Christ take his rightful place—when I let go of the control and glory and focused on fulfilling the role God gave me—and nothing more.

May we all open out hearts more to discerning God’s call for our lives, both the way He’s calling us to action and the ways He’s calling us to step back and let Him do His part.

May it all be for His Glory.


Youth Minister


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