Friday, May 24, 2002

Edifier du jour-Luke 3:1-8
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar--when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene--during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
"A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation.' "
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.'
One of the phrases that has cropped up in our church vocabulary is the Church as "God's bulldozer." We're supposed to clear a path, do some spiritual civil engineering to allow the world to see Jesus. Some churches are in protective mode, trying to hang on to their faith and keep it from being snatched by the world. I think it's far better to be in offence mode, taking the Gospel out into the world. The point that verse 8 reminds me of is that God has no grandchildren. We're either children of God in our own right, or we're not. What our parents or grandparents did doesn't make us children of God unless we ourselves have faith in Him.

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