Scripture Reading — Luke 3:1-14
John said ... "You brood of vipers!"
Imagine slipping into an airline seat for a three-hour flight. The man next to you exchanges some general pleasantries. But soon you discover that he also has extreme views about religion. His goal as you fly the friendly skies is to convince you that your casual way of life is putting you in danger of the fires of hell. It dawns on you that it's going to be a very long flight!
Spending an afternoon with John the Baptist must have been a similar experience. After all, John believed you got ready for Christ's coming by taking a long, intense look at the ethical quality of your life.
Preparing a road for the coming of the Messiah is your Advent task. That means clearing away the moral rubble that prevents him from taking a straight path to your heart. The King is coming, and he will remember the poor and cut down the proud. The comfortable but corrupt order of things is about to change. It's time for disciples to make the U-turn of repentance and straighten out their priorities.
Getting ready for Christmas isn't first a matter of remembering everyone on our family gift list. It's about remembering the nature of citizenship in the King's kingdom! It's about taking a moral inventory of our lives. What changes do we need to make so that we can welcome Christ with integrity on Christmas morning?
Lord, we admit that our lives are a mess. It's been a long time since we've held them up to the light of your truth. Now is the time. Help us to begin today. In your name, Amen.<p> </p>