The Baptist shouts on Jordan’s shore, the earth shakes with a mighty roar, Awake, let lazy sleep now flee: behold the voice of prophesy! (The Baptist Shouts on Jordan’s Shore, v. 1, NCH 115)
John the Baptist was a wild kind of guy. If he were to wander our streets today, we’d dismiss him as a “crazy person.” As powerful as this image may be, I like to remember that, like Jesus, John enters our story as a baby… well, actually in utero! As you remember, John leaps for joy in his mother Elizabeth’s womb when she comes in contact with her cousin Mary, newly pregnant with Jesus.
It was a popular Renaissance motif to depict John and Jesus as babies together. It is so crucial to the Christmas story that power begins here: with tiny, beautiful, vulnerable babies.