John the Baptist reminded us that God made the world and all its creatures with men and women made in His image. By breaking His laws people have broken contact with God and damaged His good world. This we can see and sense, both in the world and in ourselves.
The Bible tells us the Good News that God still loves us and has shown His love uniquely in His Son, Jesus Christ. He lived among us and died on the cross to save us from our sin. But God raised Him from the dead!
In His love, this living Jesus invites us to turn from our sins and enter by faith into a restored relationship with God who gives true life before and beyond death. Then with the power of the Holy Spirit remaking us like Jesus we - with all Christians - worship God, enjoy His Friendship and are available for Him to use in showing and sharing His love, justice and peace locally and globally until Jesus returns!
There is an immediate connection made with the prophecy of Isaiah, who had talked of a messenger – “A voice of one calling in the wilderness” - who God would send to prepare the way for the coming of the promised Messiah.
John’s role was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. He did this through telling people to repent as the Kingdom of Heaven was near.
Baptism was a Jewish ritual – people were totally immersed in water to symbolise cleansing. John’s baptism was a symbol of repentance.
John was a second Elijah. He dressed and acted almost exactly like Elijah. He ate wild locusts and honey, he wore clothes made of camel hair and he had a belt tied around his waist.
John was a forerunner to the Messiah. He said, “I baptise you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptise you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
In Jesus’ name we gladly share with you God’s message for all people – 'You matter to God' and we invite you to accept His invitation.
Our services in St John's are at 9.30am on Sundays and at 1pm on Wednesdays (in the John Knox Chapel).