Read Luke 3:7-14, here’s a highlight:
“Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.“
Here is John the Baptist, preaching to his congregation, just after calling them a “brood of vipers.” John recalls for his audience how much the story of God’s faithfulness to Sarah & Abraham continues to shape their own relationship to God and to one another. In the crowd are government agents (tax collectors) and police officers (soldiers) who are rightfully concerned that maybe their work won’t be perceived as “good fruit” in the eyes of God. John cleverly points out, the work is fine as long as it’s done with honesty and integrity and not self-interested motivation or gain.
Just in today’s news feed, how many stories do we find highlighting government corruption and negligent policing? We are often left to ask, “where are the good stories?” Today, I challenge you to set aside the bad fruit for a while and look for some good. It’s out there.
You might find it as you check in with one of the many organizations in our community that continue to serve our neighbors, even as the challenges grow greater. You might find it as you consider how school teachers, administrators, and staff are rising to the challenge of serving the needs of millions of young learners around the country and the world. You might find it among those who are responding on the front lines of a global pandemic, raging wildfires, and rising floodwaters.
My prayer is that this good fruit might just inspire us to follow behind those whose actions reflect the honesty and integrity that John preached about 2000 years ago. We are heirs of the promise given to Sarah and Abraham, God has made it so. May our own fruit reflect God’s vision for the world. Let’s try, at least, to make it happen today.
May peace find you this day, Pastor Peter
Loving God, all that you have made is good and your love endures forever. Teach us to forgive when we hurt, help us to ask for forgiveness when we hurt others and lead us into the ways of reconciliation. Give us eyes to see the glory of your creation, and make us wise stewards of all your gifts. We pray in the name of Jesus, our Savior, and Friend. Amen.