HOMILY, SOLEMNITY OF THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
Isaiah 49:1-6, Acts 13:22-26, Luke 1:57-66.80
Today we celebrate the birth of John the Baptist. The name John, (Johahanna) means, “The gift of God” or “God is gracious.” Though everybody is a gift from God, there are some people who are specially made for special or specific purpose. John is one of them. Such people are not expected to get lost in the crowd. They must fit themselves to specific ways of life so as to be configured to the mode of their assignment.
It is beneficial knowing the purpose of our birth. This helps us to mould our life to the patterns that serve the purpose. This takes special divine intervention. God announced Jesus’ purpose through the angel Gabriel. Luke 1:26-38. After his birth, Simeon attested to it at the temple. Luke 2:25-32. God the Father and Holy Spirit confirmed him again at his baptism at river Jordan. Matthew 3:16-17. Despite all that, someone else would still be needed to announce him publicly. That is John the Baptist.
John is the voice of the one crying out in the desert, prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths. Luke 3:4. He came as the flag bearer for our Lord Jesus.
In every generation, God always announces his plan to his people through his prophets, his mouth-piece. God blesses man through man, raising up men through men.
John’s voice was that of endorsement. The Saviour has been there. He did not start his ministry 18 years after he had discovered his father’s business at the temple in Jerusalem. Luke 2: 41-52. His ministry started the moment John the Baptist began to direct people’s attention to him. He said, “Behold the Lamb of God”. John 1:29, 36. It was this proclamation that made John’s disciples to leave him and followed Jesus.
There are people who tell the story of how someone meets them on the way, telling them of God’s purpose in their life. “The man said to me, ‘God wants you to serve him and you are running from him’.” “Why are you hiding the gift God gave you? Unless you use it, you will not have peace.” Those are the kind of words some people are often greeted with.
At times, it takes God’s voice through another person to realize ourselves. We too, in one time or the other, are sent to point other people to their destiny. We also must serve the duty of preparing the heart of people for the reception of Jesus, either by words or by our life style.
I pray that you may meet the one who the Lord has sent to announce you in Jesus name. May he open your sight to see the people he as commissioned you to announce for him. And may he put in you the passion to achieve God’s purpose in the life of others.