Good afternoon, friends in Christ! With the busy week ahead, here’s an early preview of next Sunday’s readings. They are: Psalm 72:1-7; Isaiah 11:1-10; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12. Try to imagine the following conversation between a husband and wife on a long car-ride. (I’ll let you decide who’s driving.)
“I think we missed our turn.”
“No, we’re ok. I’ve taken this way before. I know exactly where I’m going.”
“Are you sure? None of this looks familiar. I think we’re lost.”
“I’m telling you I know what I’m doing. We’re definitely not lost.”
“Honey, we should have been there by now. Would you please turn the car around?!”
“Humph…none of this looks familiar, but I’m sure this was the way. Let’s give it another mile.”
Yes, I’ll admit it. There have been times when I kept driving for another mile or two even after realizing I had missed my turn and was now traveling in the wrong direction. It’s one thing to know you’ve gone off course. But doing something about it is another matter entirely. When John the Baptist calls for repentance, he telling us we need to “turn around”. That requires more than words. It requires action, what John calls the “fruit of repentance”. But this bearing of fruit is our necessary preparation for the coming of Jesus. On the Last Day, we are told, he will seal some with Holy Spirit, but others he will seal with fire. Thankfully, we have John’s message to prod us into action. Even better, we have God’s Spirit to give us a change of heart. And best of all, we have a Savior, Jesus, who is quick to forgive us and set us back on the right path. Are there any U-turns you’ve been putting off making? Now is the time to take action. God bless your Advent journey!