Why John the Baptist? A Savior Needs the Prophets

Reading the Canticle of Zechariah this morning, I found myself wondering once more about John the Baptist. How would the story of Jesus be different without the presence of John the Baptist?

From a historical angle, we could simply note that there just WAS a pre-existing movement out of which Jesus emerged as a leader. And since there were and still are disciples of John the Baptist (Sabaeans), the gospel writers took pains to depict Jesus and John as cooperative rather than competitive — and to clarify that John himself believed he was preparing for and pointing to the Messiah to come after him. Continue Reading

Epiphany: A Light over our Post-Holiday Lives

Unlike Advent and Lent, the season of Epiphany doesn’t invite introspection or conscious spiritual development for many of us. And western Christians have ironically let this day of starlight be eclipsed by New Year’s and by a return to our post-holiday routines. Post-expectations, the light shines on us as we somewhat wearily resume our ordinary life-rhythms. Continue Reading