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  • Wayne Chasney

Who Are You?

He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,'" as the prophet Isaiah said. (John 1:23)

“Who are you?”

I am Wayne. Wayne Chasney.

“Who are you?”

I am a husband, and a father, and pastor the Monroeville United Church of Christ.

“Who are you?”

Second son and third child of George and Lorraine. Born in Minnesota, raised in northern New York. I have degrees in education, divinity, and ministry. I like to run, read, and ride bicycle.

And on it goes.

John (the baptizer) was gathering followers out by the Jordan River, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The religious authorities in Jerusalem were curious, and perhaps concerned, and so they sent some representatives to investigate.

They asked John, “Are you the Messiah?” No. “Are you Elijah?” No. “Are you a prophet?” No. Then tell us, man, WHO ARE YOU?

Indeed, who are YOU?

We all have many roles we play in our worlds: Spouse, parent, child, employee, volunteer, neighbor, grumpy neighbor, grumpy-get-off-my-lawn neighbor. We may be our kids t-ball coach, or a volunteer firefighter, or the lead singer in our car as we are cruising down the highway. Who we are is complex and varied.

John may or may not have been any of those things, though he is often seen as the grumpy-get-off-my-lawn neighbor. When those authorities kept asking him, “Who are you?” he finally reached the end of his patience and got down to the heart of the matter.

“I am someone who sees the world is not as it ought to be, and I have been given a vision of what can be. I am fed up with the wilderness, and I know the One who can lead us home. I am a child of the living God, and I will not rest until God’s beloved community has come for everyone.” That is a voice crying out in the wilderness!

Do you see the world is broken? Are you fed up with the wilderness? Do you long for the beloved community of God? Will you join your voice with John, and many more, to cry out for a better world?

Really now, who are YOU?

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