When I stayed at the Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Wadi El Natrun in Egypt we were shown the resting place of some relics of John the Baptist, possibly his head.
John the Baptist seems a formidable figure to me. Here was a man wearing clothes of camel hair, living on locusts and wild honey, proclaiming that all should repent and turn back to God.
We celebrate his birthday today. John was the man who pointed to his cousin Jesus and said “Behold the Lamb of God”. Even while in the womb of his mother Elizabeth, he recognised Jesus and leaped in her womb when Mary came to visit. John was a herald, calling all to turn around, to re orientate their lives to Jesus. He was fearless in his task and was willing to face the consequences of his challenging preaching.
As I mentioned recently when we were baptised we were anointed as Christ was anointed Priest, Prophet and King. Like John, we as baptised people, are called to be prophets, to lead people away from false idols of today’s world. We are, like John, commissioned to be heralds of Christs desire to come into our hearts. All this comes at a cost to us if we are willing, in this secular culture, to be faithful in speaking on God’s behalf.
Lord give us the courage and wisdom to show Christ to others.