3rd Sunday of Advent (Ages 3-6): What then?
Have you been waiting to light the pink candle on the Advent wreath? This Sunday we get to light it! The pink candle means joy, and this is the week we celebrate our joy, even as we wait to celebrate the feast.
In the Gospel this Sunday we hear of a man named John. We call him John the Baptist because he baptizes people with water.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John...He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
We are told that John is not the light. Well, we knew that already! We know that Jesus is the light; Jesus is the Light of the World!
Some people do not know Jesus, and they do not know who John is either. They ask John,
“Who are you?”
John does not say, "I am John," or, "I am John the Baptist." Instead he says,
“I am not the Messiah.”
He tells them who he is not. He is not the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One chosen by God. What then? Who is the Messiah?
And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
They are guessing. All of their guesses are about someone God has promised to send. We are told that John is sent by God, but John is telling them that the person they are asking about, the promised person, is not him. What then? Who could it be?
John answered them, “...Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.”
Someone stands in the crowd whom they do not know. This person is so much greater than John. John would make himself small before this person. He would make himself so small, he could not even help him untie his sandal.
What then? Who could this person be?
Who is so great that we make ourselves small before him?
Jesus, the Light of the World!
Jesus the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One chosen by God!
Jesus is the promised person, and Jesus stands among them, and they do not know.
I wonder why he stands there among them.
I wonder if he likes hearing John the Baptist speak about him.
I wonder if he likes hearing the people ask questions about him. They think they are asking questions about John the Baptist, but John the Baptist is getting them to think about Jesus. Their guesses are getting them closer to knowing Jesus.
I guess that Jesus likes to be with people, especially people who ask questions about him. We ask questions about Jesus all the time! I wonder if Jesus likes to be with us?
Hmm. That is something we can think about and enjoy as we light the pink candle this week. Jesus likes to be with us. Joy.