John the Forerunner

The River Jordan, Pilgrimage, 2019

Luke 1: 57-66, 80 57 Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 5Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59 On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60 But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61 They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62 Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him. 80 The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly to Israel.

Lord, your Mother Mary came to visit her cousin and the child in her womb recognized you before either of you were born. You knew him as you know me, intimately, silently and lovingly. Your effect on him was profound. Elizabeth too was affected by you, recognizing your Mother as Mother of God. What an exciting time this birth had to have been for Zechariah and Elizabeth! She was strong like your Mother, knowing that the name spoken to her was not to be changed but confirmed in what was asked by your Father. I want to be strong like her in my life, in being observant and faithful. Being quiet before you has been good for my soul. The quarantine we have been in has still produced fruit. My days were quieted and I focused my time to sit longer and more attentively with you. You gave Zechariah the opportunity to humble himself, and he did. I pray you see me in this same way. Many decisions I made in the past were outside of seeking your answers and did not bring grace nor freedom but led to sinful ways. I have repented as John asked us to do and your mercy poured forth. I am thankful.

So many times I bring before you problems but don’t go to your word for answers. I look at the world, my experiences, friends or family for help. Psalm 139 reminds me that you are there, waiting for me, wanting to give me the answers I seek. You have all I need and yet I am busy about my mouth, not waiting, asking or listening. You made me, you know me, you understand my thoughts from afar. You love me beyond what I can begin to know. You want me to have an everlasting, fruitful life. You have all the answers to the questions of what to do, how to do it and with who. John knew from the womb his journey was to be your forerunner. His mission was not to push or motivate people but to prepare their hearts gently, gradually, to accept the Savior of the world when you came. John’s heart must have burned with joy, hope and gladness to be the one who would proclaim this message, and yet he like his father, humbled himself to give all praise and glory to you. He was surely filled with your spirit. He was not afraid to pour the water of truth out before men of your coming.

Lord, help me to be like John in proclaiming and remaining in you. You made me for your works, my soul knows this full well. I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made. May the innocence of a newborn baby like John become my ways, totally reliant on you. May the faithfulness of his father be a light for me to be silent so I can hear the ways you desire for me to go.

About Cathy Trowbridge

A faith-led people-person, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great- grandmother and friend, I am a Catholic Christian striving to union with our Lord. I hope to bring you encouragement to live a closer relationship with Christ, discerning direction in the path to Him, with Him and in Him.
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