Readings: Isaiah 40: 1-11, Psalm 85: 1-2, 8-13, 2 Peter 3: 8-15a, Mark 1: 1-8
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk. That is an incredibly appropriate term for this time of year where alcohol seems to flow easier and people seem to think less. Friends do everything they can to help build friends up. Friends protect friends from their folly and friends support friends through the difficult times.
Friends also don’t let friends guess. In order to grow in friendship, friends need to communicate openly and honestly about what they think they need. If one person is making another person guess what they want, then that is an unbalanced friendship. If you know that I care about you, why would you make me guess. When you make me guess, and even worse; use it as a test of my affection, then you are setting me up for failure. Friends don’t set friends up for failure. Friends make it as easy as possible to be friends with friends.
John the Baptist didn’t make the people of God guess what God had been asking him to tell the people. John simply passed God’s word on to God’s people. God knew what they needed, and God told them what they needed. God never made John guess and John never made God’s people guess. God never expected that we would be able to guess, God never had a plan A in case we guessed right and a plan B in case we didn’t. God only had a plan A that had been set in motion before time was created and Plan A was that they would need us to tell them how to love because chances are we would make the wrong choice. God never makes us guess because it is impossible that we can read God’s mind, it is impossible we can know God so well as to assume how He would need to be loved and how He would love.
God has made relationship with Him as easy as possible. So easy in fact, that we are in relationship with Him before we even know that He exists. Our spirits always know God exists, but it is our intellect that tries to justify that He doesn’t or that He exists only within the limits of our understanding. John speaks so clearly when he says that he baptises with water, but Christ is coming, and He will baptise with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit washes over us and convicts our spirits that we are loved by the One who loves us perfectly. We are convicted that we have been given the most incredible invitation by the perfect Host and that invite is into His glorious presence. He doesn’t ask that we bring wine or meat or salad; He asks simply that we arrive. He has set everything before us and there is nothing we need to bring. We only need to respond and arrive. Come into the presence of the Holy One, the Beautiful One, the One who is Love. I am encouraging you to come, because friends show friends where to find the good stuff.