Advent 2 :: You Brood of Vipers!

Matthew 3.1-12

Scotland 2013 496

Home of the waiting ones

Think for a moment about all the things expectant parents do as they await the arrival of a new child into their lives: deciding on a name, sending out announcements, going to baby showers, decorating the nursery, picking out clothes and all sorts of baby paraphernalia. Then there are the doctor visits, diet regulating, reading baby books, gleaning info from other parents and family members, and a hundred other things that will come cropping up.

The expected day is a wondrously glorious, if not terribly frightening, occasion. But soon a little one will be a new member of the family and their responsibility for her is just beginning.

Our expectation over the birth of the Christ-child should be no less exciting, even if our preparations for the blessed event are a good deal less involved: decorating the house, sending out cards, picking out presents to give, parties to attend, stories to tell our children, and a hundred other things that demand our attention this time of year.

Into this mix of hopefulness, expectation, preparation, and soon-to-be-realized joy comes John the Baptizer:

“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee? Beware the ax that cuts down the tree! You think that by joining in the holiday festivities — because you’ve always done it that way — that you can escape judgement? I tell you. God can raise up from the needles that fall off your Christmas tree those who will truly understand what I am about!”

“Instead,” he continues, “in this time of revelry and anticipation, look inside your hearts and turn to God. And when you turn, be sure that everything you do reflects the new person God has made you to be.”

“But beware. One is coming who will send upon you a newness of life that you cannot imagine. You will be forever changed, for you will be washed in love, forgiveness, and joy that, for some, will be too much to bear.”

Now that is something to be excited about!

Link to RCL Lectionary for Advent 2, Year A

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