Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 (NRSV)
Verse 15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, Verse 16John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. Verse 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."
Verse 21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, Verse 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased."
John knows who he is and who he is not, even if the people around him aren't so sure. "Who is this guy?" they're all asking each other. "Is he the long-awaited Messiah?" "No," John says, point blank. "I'm not the Messiah." John baptizes with water. The Promised One will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John knows who he is: the one who points to the One. He is a preacher, a proclaimer, a leader. He is not the Savior. He is who he is because of the Savior.
In our own questions of identity and worthiness, our pondering about who we are and who we are not, we'd do well to follow John's example. We are not Jesus. We cannot save ourselves or the people we love and serve. This is good news. We are, however, God's beloved, called to proclaim the love of Jesus as we are, where we are. This, too, is good news.
Naming God, remind me of who I am today. And of who I am not. Show me how you call me to be who I am, where I am, today. Amen.