This week we eavesdrop on John the Baptist as he calls us towards repentance with the reminder that the God’s time as king is coming ever nearer. But what should we repent of?
Read together from Matthew 3: In those days John the Baptist came and preached in the Desert of Judea. 2 He said, “Turn away from your sins! The kingdom of heaven is near.” 3 John is the one the prophet Isaiah had spoken about. He had said,
“A messenger is calling out in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord.
Make straight paths for him.’” (Isaiah 40:3)
4 John’s clothes were made out of camel’s hair. He had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all of Judea. They also came from the whole area around the Jordan River. 6 When they admitted they had sinned, John baptized them in the Jordan.
11 “I baptize you with water, calling you to turn away from your sins. But after me, one will come who is more powerful than I am. And I’m not fit to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.”
John the Baptist seems like one of those larger than life characters. Who wears camel’s hair or eats bugs? But Matthew is setting up John as a very different character from the other preachers of his day. He wears weird clothes, camps out in the desert, and doesn’t go to church. John is different. John chooses less. Simple clothes, less food, fewer friends. And John says that he is only the beginning of the kingdom of God.
John the Baptist seems to think that less is the way to enter into the Kingdom. What do you think?
As a family, discuss how you could choose less. Could you eat out less often? Could you share your outgrown toys and clothes with someone else? Could you give up your vacation or your Wii? How can you use your “less” for the sake of another person? Does God ask us for ‘less’?
Pray: Dear God, we want to be in your kingdom. Help our family learn to live with less so that we can have more room for You. (Sit in silence for a few moments asking your family members to listen to what God might say about this request.) End by praying aloud together, “Come, Lord Jesus.”