June 24, 2008

John the Baptist Day

It's six months till Christmas! It's Summer Christmas. This is the day the creators of the church calendar chose for John the Baptist's birthday, so we'd remember him and his story and his message for our soul's benefit. AND it is full blown summer with earth's bounty.

(This is also the day in history that the first state-sponsored terror against Christians began; the first wave of Imperial persecutions at the hand of Roman Emperor Nero.)

As I said yesterday about summer, nature is breathing out all its extravagance of warmth, plants and color. In comparison to Fall and Winter, my soul relaxes and has less concentration. Inwardly I'm in more of a day-dreamy state.

When Summer Solstice rolls around I always think, "Oh yeah, John the Baptist Day is approaching" and I remember his messages. Amid the abundance of summer's growth and fruiting, John was simply clad, and lived in the wilderness. Amid summer's heat and brilliance, John speaks of repentance and urges us to be introspective. He reminds me to look inward and be awake to the universe's mysteries.

While the external landscape calls me into all sorts of activity, I need to not forget or neglect the deep, rich and resourceful landscape of my inner soul.

John began the announcement of the coming of the Kingdom and the Lamb of God, and said, "Prepare the way of the Lord","repent" (change my thinking). A reminder in the midst of summer's madness not to stray from the path, keeping my feet on solid ground; and keep my soul in balance in life's busyness.

"He (Jesus) must increase; I must decrease."

The days are now growing shorter leading to winter and a birth.

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