This morning, I got a message from the person due to preach at our Tuesday morning service to say that a family member had tested positive for COVID-19 and so she was in isolation. As we are in an interregnum, with no vicar to take charge, I offered my services to stand in and so I stood up to preach later that morning with significantly less preparation time that I’d normally have.
Fortunately, I was also speaking last Sunday on an earlier part of the same passage – John’s gospel, chapter 1 – so I wasn’t entirely adrift. The subject John, the author and apostle, was writing about was another John (the Baptist). Yes – that is confusing. It would be like a town having two churches called “All Saints”… (Loughborough – I’m looking at you!).
The keyword of John’s ministry was ‘repent’, a call to be transformed – not ‘come to church once a week’ but ‘live as part of the church, the expression of the body of Christ, every hour of every day’. It also struck me that, in his role of laying a foundation but not claiming glory for himself, if he’d been in a band, John the Baptist would definitely have been the bassist!
You’ll be able to see the resulting message in the online service on Sunday although, as it was me speaking, I’m exercising the liberty of doing some editing first!