A New Devotion on Cove’s Prayer Line - Pointers


Below is a new devotion I just left on the Cove Presbyterian Church prayer line. You can find a recording of this devotion on the prayer line (1-304-748-7900). You can find other devotions, sermons, essays, articles, and announcements on The Cove Community blog. 

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John 1:19-28

This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, "I am not the Messiah." And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not."

"Are you the prophet?" He answered, "No." Then they said to him, "Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, "Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?" John answered them, "I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal." This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.


There’s always debate about our job as Christians. I mean, some say we should be evangelizing the world while others say we should be caring for ourselves. And some believe Christians should focus on spiritual issues while others believe our focus should be directed to physical needs. Of course, this debate is hardly new; Christians have been scrapping over this kind of stuff for two thousand years. And even though I have no desire to muddy the waters, I think there’s another image that, for me, encapsulates what both individual Christians and the Body of Christ is called to do.

And I believe we find this image in the passage we’ve just read. You see, following in the footsteps of John the Baptist, our job is simply to point. I mean, just think about what he said in these verses. He didn’t focus attention on himself. And he didn’t exaggerate the importance of what he was doing. And he sure didn’t see himself or his work as more important than they were. Instead he simply pointed to the one who was coming after him, the one whose sandals he wasn’t worthy to untie, the one whom, in the next passage, he called “the Lamb of God.” I guess you could call him a pointer.

And it seems to me, that’s our job, too. We’ve been called and equipped to point toward Jesus and to do it through our words and actions. As we talked about on Sunday, it may be as simple as inviting folks to come and see the one we lift up during our worship and in our studies. Or it may be demonstrated by our willingness to roll up our sleeves and help the lest of these who are our brothers and sisters, both within and outside the church. This we can do. And I’ll tell you, when this vision shapes what we do as a individuals and a congregations, we’ll be pointers, too.