Scripture: Luke 3:1–14
Key verses: (7-14) John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers 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 is one of my favorite people in scripture. He is unconventional, a bit wild and preaches the heck out of the scriptures. John calls people to repent and get your life right with God. Refocus and find the joy in serving God. We usually read this in advent but this is exactly what we need right now.
It is easier than ever to get to church but that makes it even harder to set time aside for worship with a community. There are so many in need but we have hunkered down so we don’t always see the need. We need John the Baptist to wake us up and call us to task!
The crowds ask John how they are supposed to repent and refocus so John tells them, share your stuff, all the extra with people who don’t have anything. Be satisfied with what you have, today.
John the Baptist is direct and honest.
It is hard to hear. I have to admit that it has been easy to stock up on what I need and even think ahead on what I MIGHT need. Even when so many around me do not have the most basic things for today. One of the youth texted me about three little food pantries they set up weeks ago and I promised to go by and fill them. It would take not time at all.
The youth at MPPC host the food drive for Loaves and Fishes this week. How about not giving the things that are expired or that you don’t want and get what is needed. Get some canned chicken, canned fruit and boxed pasta. Drop it off Sunday between 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Outreach Center. If you are out of town, make a donation to Loaves and Fishes. https://loavesandfishes.org/
Repent. Refocus. It is time. Find the joy of serving our neighbors and loving God with all that we are and all that we have.
Prayer: God of steadfast love, we have not always opened our eyes to the needs of others or kept our feet on the path of peace. Open us to ways we can grow in faith and love as we walk this journey of faith. Today and always. 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].