15As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, 16John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. 19But Herod the ruler, who had been rebuked by him because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil things that Herod had done, 20added to them all by shutting up John in prison. (Luke 3:15-20, NRSV)
John is not the Messiah, but he is proclaiming the coming of the Messiah.
The Messiah will baptize with fire and the Holy Spirit. And the Messiah will clear the threshing floor and separate what goes to the granary and what is burned away.
We too can be like John, preparing the way and telling others about the Messiah and the relationships they can have, but know in doing so that we might wind up where John did. John here in the reading is in prison because of his speaking out against Herod and Herodias. Sometimes proclaim the good news does not sit well with others. But that did not stop John.
Will it stop you?