During seminary, I travelled to Peru. In orientation, we were told to pack bottled water. Well, I packed so much water that it didn’t fit in my check-in bag. I then tried stuffing the leftover water bottles in my carry-on bag. That bag was sure heavy. My shoulders ached with every step I took. When I made it to the check-in counter, the baggage clerk said that I would need to check my carry-on bag, too. So, I started taking the bottled water out of the bag. I handed a bottle to each of my classmates. When I picked up the bag, it felt like a heavy weight was lifted off my shoulders.
Like my oversized carry-on bag, our hurtful words and actions, our guilt, can weigh heavily on us. It can make it hard for us to welcome the love Jesus offers us, the love Jesus invites us to live out.
Like my classmates who offered to lift my heavy burden by taking a water bottle from my bag, John the Baptist offers people words and water as a sign of God’s forgiving love, freeing them to welcome the love Jesus offers them, the love Jesus invites them to live out. Who in your life is offering to take a water bottle from your heavy bag?
Gracious God, help us let go, allowing us to welcome your love. Amen. — WHB