Scripture: Luke 3:1-14
Key verses: (13-14) “Teacher, what should we do?” 13He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
Reflection: John the Baptist just might be one of my favorite bibilcal characters. He is throwing out common sense wisdom. “If you have two coats, share with anyone that has none.” It is not only common sense but it is foundational gospel wisdom. John also says to the tax collectors, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” John is a little bit crazy and he was known to be really loud. Crowds would gather around to listen to him because John was direct, blunt, practical, but also full of hope. John reminded them about the corrupt system and injustice all around but he showed them how to join God in bringing change where they were, right in that moment.
We usually read this passage in December as we prepare and wait for Christmas. Our focus is on the arrival of a liberating king. We busy ourselves with tasks to prepare for Christmas and we know we prepare for something and someone far greater. In preparing, we often miss the message of joining God in building the kingdom right here, right now. John’s words are full of challenge for today. We can build a world of hope today. Let’s get to the work of justice and do some kingdom living. It really is just common sense.
Today is a new day.
To work for justice.
To love unconditionally.
To be satisfied.
Thanks be to God. Amen.
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].