Bear fruit worthy of repentance
Now John wore clothing of camel's hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.In the archives at King of Peace is the sermon A Voice from the Wilderness in which I said in part,
The Jewish Historian Josephus gives us an account of John the Baptist that both agrees with and fills out the picture we get in the four Gospels and Acts. Josephus describes John as a good man who exhorted the Jews to live righteous lives. Josephus says John taught the Jews to “practice justice toward their fellows and piety toward God and in so doing to join in baptism”....There is also a sermon in the archives on this weekend's Old Testament lesson called The Peacable Kingdom Within.
...for this Sunday, we are left on the banks of the Jordan. In our readings for this week, the Messiah is not yet here. Jesus is not yet baptized. After all, Advent is a time of anticipation and preparation. John’s words should haunt us as they haunted the people who were driven out in the desert to hear him for themselves.
“Bear fruit worthy of repentance!”
No, we can not earn our way to heaven by mending our ways. No you do not have to get your act together before returning to church. But, yes John’s message is still true.
If we want to avoid the scorching heat of his blast against the Pharisees and Sadducees as a Brood of Vipers then we should ponder if our lives are changed in any way because we are Christians. Do we live any differently because we believe? What would fruit worthy of repentance look like in our time? In our lives?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor
Labels: John the Baptist