Bible Workbench: Advent 3, December 13, 2009

Text: Luke 3:7-18

How do I flee from “the wrath to come”? I have hundreds of escape routes. One is the busy-ness of this time of year: writing, reviewing, rewriting lists, lists of people I must prepare gifts for and address cards to, lists of chores that must be done before the pagan/Victorian/family celebration that Christmas 2009 has become. Do I have enough candles? When can we find time to buy the tree, let alone decorate it? Will the grocery store have plum pudding this year? How can I possibly carve out time to go to all the children’s Christmas–no, holiday–concerts?

But I don’t need the distractions of Christmas to keep me from hearing John. Any day of the year, the trivia of my life and the varied interests of my mind can afford me excuses for not going out to the wilderness and hearing him. What would happen to me, how might I live if I actually left my seemingly safe Jerusalem to hear John tell me the truth? What form may “the wrath to come” be taking in my life? How may that wrath bring the end of all I care for? How might it be a clearing-away of trifles to make room for a life that could actually mean something?

– Caroline Wohlforth

John the Baptist

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