Only three days in and already I am having a morning with little time to get my post up! Sigh…tis the season.
In anticipation of a tight schedule this morning I read Luke 3 before going to sleep last night.
I used The Message because that is what was next to my pillow and this is the thought that jumped out at me.
This whole passage is focused on Jesus’ cousin, John.
John the Baptizer, who prepared the way for the coming of Jesus’ ministry, preached a gospel.
You know “gospel” means “good news”, right?
Well the good news John preached was, according to Eugene Peterson’s translation a “baptism of life-change leading to forgiveness of sins…”
I also noticed that John did not have a seeker-friendly approach to his ministry.
When crowds of people came out for baptism because it was the popular thing to do, John exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to deflect God’s judgment? It’s your life you must change, not your skin.”Luke 3:7-8 The Message by Eugene Peterson.
Seems a bit harsh to our 21st Century approach to making everyone feel comfy in the church.
But repentance IS good news, my friends.
Both of my Advent devotionals this morning focused on Genesis 3 and the devastation of sin in the world.
I wrote this confession in the margin of one of my studies and will leave this with you to consider today:
Both of the Advent devotions I read today are about Genesis 3.
Oswald Chambers, too, reminded me of the gravity of sin. My own and the sin of others has brought brokenness and pain into my life.
My sin and the sin of others has caused pain in those around me.
Our nation suffers the consequences of sinful choices.
Pride, arrogance, contempt for God’s laws and His ways.
We live with the confusion and oppression because we are unwilling to repent.
The passage in Luke today tells of how John the Baptizer preached a gospel of repentance to make way for the Gospel of Redemption.
My own bitterness. My own pride. My own greed. My own selfish ways.
They are sins that defile me and those I love, but first and foremost they are sins against You, O LORD my God.
I renounce my sin and seek You alone in this season of waiting and hope.
- Genesis 3: 16-19
- Deuteronomy 30:15-20
- Psalm 109: 26-31
- Revelation 22:1-5