The Greatest

Theme: We are to be witnesses to the Light. 3rd Sunday of Advent, Yr. B
Object: A baseball and bat
Scripture: He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose. John 1:27

Have you ever imagined what it would be like to be the greatest singer in the world, or the greatest athlete in the world? Have you ever thought about what it would be like hear the cheers of people as they watched you perform?

I heard a story about a little boy who walked out into the backyard wearing his baseball cap and carrying a ball and bat. "I'm the greatest hitter in the world," he said. Then he tossed the ball into the air, swung at it, and missed. "Strike One!" he yelled.

He picked up the ball and said again, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world!" Again, he tossed the ball into the air, and again he swung at it and missed. "Strike Two!" he cried.

The boy looked at his bat and ball, straightened his cap and said again, "I'm the greatest hitter in the world!" A third time he tossed the ball up in the air and swung at it. He missed again. "Strike Three!"

The little boy picked up the ball, looked at it, and cried out in a loud voice, "I'm the greatest pitcher in the world!"

I guess all of us at some time have dreamed of being the greatest. This morning I want to tell you about a man who had no desire to be thought of as being the greatest. In fact, he wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he was NOT the greatest. The man's name was John.

John was very popular in his day and people would travel for miles to see John and to hear him speak. He was so popular that many people began to think that he might be the Savior that had been promised -- or that he must at least be Elijah or one of the great prophets who had come back from the dead.

John assured people that he was not the Christ, or even one of the great prophets. He told them that he was just a man who had come to tell them about one who was coming who truly was the greatest. "The one who is coming -- why, I'm not even worthy to unbuckle his sandals," John said. Of course, the one he was talking about was Jesus.

Most of us will probably never be known as "the greatest anything," but we can, like John, tell others about the One who is The Greatest. We can tell them about Jesus. I can't think of anything that we could do that would be greater than that!

Dear Jesus, you are truly the greatest. During this season when we celebrate your birth, may we eagerly share with others the true meaning of Christmas. Amen.

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