Invite People to Christ
John Wight, senior president of seventy
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” -Luke 3:15-16
When people asked John the Baptist if he was the Messiah, it would have been quite easy for him to indicate that he was, indeed, the Messiah and draw more admiration and glory to himself. But he humbly made it very clear that he was not. John invited them to Jesus, the real Messiah, the thong of whose sandals he was “not worthy to untie” and who would baptize them “with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
When I was 15 years of age, I learned in an unexpected but powerful way about making sure that we, as disciples of Jesus, follow John’s example and truly point people to Jesus Christ. I was attending a family camp in Tennessee where one of the guest ministers was a former apostle-a man whom I admired and respected greatly. One day I was washing pots and pans by myself in the back part of the kitchen when this gentleman walked in. I thought perhaps he was looking for something, but instead he said, “Can I give you a hand?” I was stunned. But more importantly, I was impressed with his humble spirit-a great leader, a former apostle, and here he was, standing next to me, an unimportant teenager, elbow deep in nasty dish water scrubbing pots and pans. He provided me with a living example of what we are told in Doctrine and Covenants 11:4: “…and no one can assist in this work, except he shall be humble and full of love.”
He taught me, without knowing it, the importance of not drawing attention to oneself or allowing one’s charisma to become the focus of people’s admiration and worship. Instead, his actions taught me that we must always be alert to do as John did: point people beyond ourselves and invite them to the one whose sandals we are not worthy to untie, to the one who is truly worthy of our worship-Jesus Christ.
“May I open myself to change, to being guided by the Spirit; may I risk the unknown and live into the Mystery!” (Nan C. Merrill, Psalms for Praying, 234)
A New Beginning
Opportunities for new beginnings occur in each moment, day, or year. Even when we feel stuck, the Spirit is always offering an invitation to return to our deeper intention of living life fully with God, others, creation, and our truest selves. Pay attention at the opening of this new year to what feels like a fresh beginning in you. Where is the Spirit inviting you into a new possibility, awareness, or way of being?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.