There have always been those who point the way – often only to the next marker, for even they cannot see beyond the fog. John’s gospel (ch 1:6-8, 19-28) introduces us to one who points to the source of life and light. Such pointing often leads to confrontation with those who are committed to pointing only to the next visible marker – often in the shape of short-term, easy-fix, immediate satisfaction goals.
Witness the peaceful protests by fifty Australian Christian leaders yesterday concerning children in detention and the imminent deportation of 25 infants to the hellish conditions on Nauru. Temporal political point-scoring may be a desirable outcome for a nation that has lost its way. Pointing to the Logos, the source of light, life and truth, illumines the fact that, no matter how attractive these short-term markers are – they are going the wrong way.
John the Pointer (aka the Baptist) was an irritation to leaders whose hearts were set on their markers then. It seems that Christian pointers in Australia, who submit to arrest and even strip-search to highlight the way illuminated by the Source, are as much an irritation today.