I was reading the beginning of the gospel of Mark. Starting to 'immerse myself in the gospel' as Trevor Hudson recommends in 'Signposts to Spirituality'.
And John the Baptist stood out for me in a way I have not seen before. I read about the crowds that came from all Judea and Jerusalem. And immediately after that the passage says that John wore camel hair and ate locusts and honey. It was like he was the pastor of one of today's mega-churches. Imagine if he had charged for the baptisms. He would have been pretty wealthy. To continue wearing camel hair and so on must have taken immense faith.
And then I thought of him being put in prison and sending messages to Jesus asking him if he was the Messiah. I heard or read (can't remember) someone asking how it could be that John was unsure after all he had seen. But of course John was in prison, about to lose his life. Of course he was unsure. If this was the Messiah, and there was all this good news, why was he (John) in prison? What a man of faith. What a tragedy that the one who prepared the way for Jesus should end up on the outskirts of it all and be executed.
I guess the message is that some of us are John the Baptist today. In some sense feeling like we are losing and wondering if Jesus is really around. I don't understand it. But Jesus was the Messiah . . . and he is really around today.