Mark 1:7

and he proclaimed – “After me is coming someone more powerful than I am, and I am not fit even to stoop down and unfasten his sandals.

everyone serves
someone something
stronger or
you’d all serve me
we’d all serve you

identifying strength
is a critical
survival skill

evaluating strength
is a critical
growth grace

not all strength
is equal or
real or true
we too easily
give in to

claimed or
perceived strength
always wears
a curtain to be
drawn back

in what strength
do you really
go forth

Note that there is no wild warning of impending doom here, no calling out “you snakes” at crowds in general or Pharisees in particular. Mark’s Baptizer John is a preparer of a later choice of the message we will learn to give.

Everyone, including Jesus, can see “better” on its way. Care for next generations demands that we expect and encourage them to do greater things than we have been able to achieve. We welcome their outdoing us and redeeming our lack even as we attempt to do the same for those who have gone before us.

To this extent we are able to emulate John as we set the table for better to come. This is not some pie-in-the-sky being talked about, but an on-the-ground, steady affirmation, “It gets better”.

A weak baby of today is intended to grow stronger and wiser than ourselves or we have totally messed up our values.

This is a humble position to be in, expecting tables to turn and to be a part of seeing that they do. A gift of humility is finding the truth in “the last shall be first and the first, last”. In this is a deep satisfaction beyond pride. It is our shoulders they have stood on. And, it turns out those who follow are not heavy.

All of this suggests that John understood being a grandparent who can see beyond the limits of what they could accomplish with their children to what the children of their children are going to be able to bind together as a rainbow promise of no more violence is implemented in their lives.