Jesus Will Set You on Fire

on fire
Photo credit: Eva Garmendia

Mark 1:1-8

It all started with Jesus, the child of God.

Isaiah the truth-teller wrote:

Watch! I’m sending it out on the early warning system so you will be ready –
A clear signal breaking through the noise:

“Get the road home ready.
Straighten up!”

So John showed up in the middle of nowhere, dunking people in a river telling people to straighten up because it’s time to break free. People came from everywhere, even from Washington DC, to renounce their misdeeds and get cleaned up in the river.

John dressed in ratty coveralls and leather suspenders. He kept to a strict vegan diet. And his message: “Get ready for someone so cool I’m unworthy to even tie his shoes! I just got you wet. He’ll set your life on fire!”

(See also, previous comments on this passage, October 6, 2011.)

The clear sign of Jesus being in the house is when people’s lives catch on fire. Not the kind of fire that gets people all hyped up for an hour on Sunday morning and then they can go back to whatever they were doing before. Not the flash-in-the-pan kind of fire, like your Uncle Max who always has a new thing that he’s really excited about, and everybody knows that nothing’s ever going to come of it.

When your life is on fire the way Jesus sets it on fire is when your inspired to do something great and stick with it for the long haul. Something that really will change people’s lives. Maybe even change the world. It could just as easily be teaching kindergartners at the school down the street as it could be digging wells somewhere in Africa. It could be feeding people dinner every night as easily as launching the next iPad. It could be getting on a bus to Washington for a demonstration, or it could be running for town board at home.

Like John, you show up. Maybe in the middle of nowhere. And you start helping people put their lives back together, or maybe build them for the first time. Wherever they come from. Whatever their patchy past may have been. Whatever your patchy past may have been.

And when that happens. It’s really cool.