John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4
Advent is the season of John the Baptist, showing up in the readings for two Sundays. John appears in all four gospels and is the forerunner of Jesus. John is an important figure in Christianity, Islam, and Bahai. In addition to “the Baptist,” John is often called “the Forerunner.” In looking at how John is depicted in religious art, we should and “the Pointer” as an option.
In art John is often depicted as pointing to Jesus, or if John is alone pointing up to heaven. John’s pointing is a visual reminder that he is not the message. No matter how many people come out to see John, his message is “one who is more powerful than I is coming after me.”
While the liturgical season of Advent is four weeks, the Church lives in a perpetual state of Advent. We are all living in hopeful expectation for Christ’s return in glory. And in our waiting, we are called to be like John the forerunner. We are called to point beyond ourselves to Christ in the world and the Kingdom of God that is already but not yet.
Where do you see Jesus in the world? And how can you point others towards Christ?
For those of you finishing finals, I pray that you are calm, rested, and that the answers come easily. For those of you that may be traveling home, I pray that you arrive safely.