BEHOLD THE GLORY
John the Baptist preaches in the wilderness
He must increase. I must decrease. He is the conflagration; I am the wavering oil lamp’s flame. He is exalted among angels, men, mountains, rivers, creatures great, organisms small. And I—I stand in the shadows of his radiant glory. I am not worthy even to assume the lowly role of a slave removing the dusty sandals from his master’s feet.
My Brothers, My Sisters, Children of Israel and Children of Ishmael, I have come to the desert to announce, to this barren land to proclaim: He has come! The promised One, bearing the name, Savior, and the unparalleled title, God Is Here! The Christ—Our Messiah—has come!
Behold, privileged generation: The Lamb of God! Behold your King!
The Lord is merciful. He has not forgotten us.
The Lord is compassionate. He has not abandoned us.
The Lord is long-suffering. He has not condemned us.
This is why he has sent me to you, compelling me to divide among you—all who desire a share—the vast riches of his goodness and mercy. All who desire a portion will have enough, and still more—much more—will remain.
The old creation is not large enough to contain the entirety of the King’s treasury nor pure enough to withstand the blaze of his glory—brighter than the fires of a forge, more luminous than the glow of molten metal pulled from the roaring flames of the smith’s furnace. He will baptize with such fire. Some will wither like dry straw; others will be cleansed of all impurities when their souls are plunged beneath the flames.
He must increase; I must decrease. His words are like the roar of ocean waves collapsing upon the rocky shore. Mine, in comparison, are merely the soft plash of a raindrop on a dusty path. His voice resounds with authority, unhesitatingly obeyed and acknowledged by the highest ranks of the heavenly hosts, reverberating even down to the deepest caverns of the earth. Dark spirits hear, and tremble.
Nevertheless, I will shout to make my voice heard above the clamor of the marketplace. I will declare the Glory of the Lord for as long as he gives me breath. Therefore I proclaim to you today, and to generations yet to come; I will announce to all tribes and nations across man-made borders, to those near and to those far away, across the boundaries of the ages, crying as loud as I can out in this wilderness: Prepare the way! Prepare the way for the Lord!
© 2011 by Dennis Dale Kemper