We Are Called to Act
As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.
In Advent we get to sit still, to be still, and to meditate in quiet anticipation of the great celebration to come. Luke’s telling of the importance of John is just the kind of nourishment we need in a season like this.
The world is so good at grabbing and holding our attention, demanding our engagement—unfortunately in so much that is trivial, mere distractions from what really matters, and if it isn’t the trivial then it’s another tragic event. We can’t change that kind of hatred overnight. Part of our work will always be: relationships, truth, forgiveness, giving, being and doing in the world—acts of kindness and mercy, transforming work to change the balance of power, to redistribute God’s abundance among especially those who are too often left outside in the cold. After all the meditating is done, not forever, but for the moment—we are called to act—to follow Jesus into the world—doing the gospel.
-Rev. Michael Livingston
How would you explain what it means to be baptized with the Holy Spirit to an eight year old?
What else would you add to Rev. Livingston’s list of what “our work will always be”?
This episode was written and recorded by Amanda Meisenheimer. It was produced by Jim Keat. Background tracks include Relinquish, Downtown, We Make a Good Team, and Rain On Glass by Podington Bear.
Click here to download the 2018 Advent devotional.
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