“In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’” vss. 1-2
John felt it inside first. Something new was in the wind and he knew beyond a doubt that God had broken into the world. He’d been railing against the corruption of the temple for years, and had joined the Essenes in the wilderness as a protest. In solitude he had prayed and now God was on the march. Holiness was near and John began to tell people to get ready. God’s rule was at hand and experiencing it would necessitate repentance. New wine required new wineskins! It was an exciting time–it always is when God comes to us. Many in the world today know that feeling, the awesome anticipation that new life is about to dawn. That’s how it has always worked for the people of God. Right in the middle of our ordinary lives we feel the stirring of the Spirit and we actually begin to seek out changes. We hear the call to repent and so we do. And these aren’t some shallow and superficial changes, but the touch of God begins to alter the whole trajectory of our lives. We feel a call to live for others and to reach out to the lonely and hurting. True repentance isn’t some scary, guilt-tinged recital of wrongs coupled with a desire to do better. In reality it’s exciting, exactly like being born again, and it opens the door to more joy than we ever imagined would be possible.
Thought for the Day: What sparks change in my life?