On Sunday, I shared with the congregation about the huge differences in spirituality between two prominent figures in the Gospels: John the Baptist and Jesus. On the one hand, John was a hermit who seemed to thrive spiritually by spending most of his life alone in the dessert, eating locusts and wild honey. His enemies claimed he had a demon that kept him alive because he ate so little and gave almost no concern to his physical needs. On the other hand, Jesus’ enemies called him a glutton and a drunkard because he greatly enjoyed eating and drinking with all kinds of people–even those who lived on the margins of society.

John found God in the solitude of the dessert; Jesus found God in the midst of huge crowds and the many people considered “lost” by the establishment. Of course, the Gospels tell us that John spent some time with people and Jesus spent some time alone; but it is clear that they had very different styles in how they experienced God and nurtured their spirits.

I am impressed with not only their different styles of spirituality, but also their focused commitment to a common vision: to love God, others and themselves, to show kindness, compassion and fairness…and to do so without judging others who do it differently, even those who have completely different styles of encountering God, hearing God’s voice, and serving God.

I think the world can learn a lot from John the Baptist and Jesus. I think we all can!

I hope you have a great week encountering God however God shows up and speaks to you…and I hope to see you on Sunday!

–Kahu Akana