“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit worthy of repentance,” said John the Baptizer.
Advent is more a cold shower, than a warm bath. It’s a four-week wake up call. This week, John the Baptizer stars as our drill sergeant.
I bet there’s a real-life John the Baptizer in your own life, past or present. Who holds you to a higher standard and truly motivates you to strive for excellence? Who doesn’t let you off the hook? Who can you count on but who refuses to do any hand-holding? You might be tempted to say, they cause you problems, but in truth, they reveal the problems you’re ignoring and then stand back so you can have the soul-building experience of fixing them yourself.
You’ve probably heard Pastor Clark say, “Worship, like the life of faith, is about participation, not perfection.” John the Baptizer would say, “It’s not about spectating either.”
If you think St. Paul Lutheran Church is a venue for religious entertainment, John demands you think again. It’s a training ground. He accepts whatever enticement brought you here, but he’s sending you home with a list of chores to clean up your act. One who is more powerful than him is coming, and he doesn’t want you to miss Jesus Christ in the flesh.
Ask Jesus, “What fruit of repentance would you have me bear this week?”