Yesterday we were reminded again in our Gospel reading of the extraordinary way the coming of Christ was foretold. John the Baptiser, down by the river, had quite a following - an early celebrity, known for his dress and his diet. His message was as unpalatable - repent for the kingdom is close at hand - of course the religious people were quite uncomfortable. But, John was already aware - more than anyone else (except of course his parents and cousin's family) that he was making way for another, who was the real thing. John, in a way had the freedom to be himself - not honed like his father by regular worship in the temple, or the expectations placed upon a male Jewish boy. He seems his own man, with its own message - simply baptising those who wished to have a changed life.
How often we are shaped by who others think we should be, or who we think we should be to fit in with our environment, peers, role or culture. It is hard to shake that off and to find our true selves.
After the church service yesterday a young girl, aged about 9 sat down at the piano and began to play - no music, just a few modern songs she had learned to play. When I asked her, she thought she might do Grade 1, but just liked playing. She obviously had a real gift and comforming to the usual pattern of going through the grades in music did not much appeal. In fact it would probably get in the way of the freedom she was experiencing of playing her own tune.
What if...we all were freed to be our true selves and play our own tune even just for one day?