AdventWord 2019: 8. Worthy

December 8, 2019
Advent Reflections

“I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Matthew 3:11, NRSV

I can’t speak for everyone who works for The Episcopal Church, but I can speak for myself – and I think I can reflect back a bit of what I see and hear from colleagues with whom I work closest – and what I want to say is this: We are not worthy to carry the sandals or boots or sneakers of those within our Church who are the hands and feet of Christ upon this earth in the most ordinary and extraordinary of places, doing both church work and the work of the Church.

We are not worthy of those who show up Sunday after Sunday to teach the one child in Sunday school week after week. We are not worthy of those who go out into the middle of snowstorms to move their homeless neighbors to warm shelters. We are not worthy of those volunteers who copy the bulletins at odd hours of the night after their own workday is done, or those who hold vigil outside prisons and detention centers, praying for the shackles of injustice to be broken. Just as John the Baptist did not feel worthy to lead, preparing the way of the Jesus, we rarely feel worthy to lead, worthy to prepare the Way of Love – the way of Jesus – ourselves. And yet, like John, I and those I work with continue to try and do what we can. We show up and try to lead like John: with humility and bravery in the face of changing times, remembering who it is that has called us to this work in the first place.