On June 24, 2019, Rise Up marks its anniversary! We celebrate the 4 year anniversary of the beginning of this exciting event ministry for our young church. And I love this date because it is also a day we celebrate St. John the Baptist, the precursor to Christ!
John the Baptist was a relative of Jesus. Remember Mary traveled to visit her relative Elizabeth who was pregnant with John. John leapt in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary approached, pregnant with Jesus. John was an all-in kinda guy. Approximately, in the year 29 A.D., John goes into the wilderness, dons clothes made of camel hair and eats nothing but locusts and honey (this is the garb of a prophet). It was a simple life, intentionally. A life without distraction because he had a job to do. A job that would require prayer, focus, courage and perseverance. John was to point people to Jesus Christ. “As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” He preached repentance and shared the good news about Jesus!
So on this anniversary, it’s good for us to reflect on what our lives point to? Are we intentional in our prayer, focus, courage and perseverance in order to become who God created us to be? When people look at us do they see goodness, integrity, honesty? Do our lives point to Jesus Christ as the source and summit of our lives? It’s not easy! John boldly told Roman soldiers with a reputation of corruption to “Rob no one by violence.” He told tax-collectors who were known to be deceitful to “Collect no more than is appointed you.” He even opposed the unlawful marriage of Herod. I’m sure he was ridiculed and thought less of because of his views, but he was bold and he knew “one mightier” was coming to save us all.
This week think of ways your life could better point to Jesus Christ. It could be in the little thing like the way you talk about your faith. Speak bolder. It could be the way you strive to uphold christian virtue. Strive harder. It could be in the way you strengthen yourself. Pray deeper.
Thank you St. John the Baptist for the gift of Rise Up, a ministry pointing young people to Christ. Be our example and lets together build up our young church.
(A huge shoutout and appreciation to Sophia Lee whose original artwork of St. John the Baptist accompanies this blog. Thank you Sophia!)