Read Luke 3:7-18

from Rev. Del Parris, Lost Creek

Is Luke confused? First he tells us that John called the people a “brood of vipers” then he ends the passage with “So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.” I would not think being called a viper or being reminded that I will be burned with “unquenchable fire” particularly good news.

Of course Luke’s interpretation of John’s message is right on tract. Until we confront the bad news of our sinfulness, until we recognize the damage which results from our sins, and until we accept responsibility for our sins the news is not so good. But as we open our heart with all of its “viperness” to God, then the bad news becomes the good news. We discover the healing of God’s grace.   John’s response to those who came was not to invite them to join the church or to become a great theologian; he challenged them to live with justice and compassion.

Dear Lord, strengthen me to face the bad news about my sin that I might be healed and live in the grace of our Lord whose birth we celebrate.