He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. (Luke 3:3)
Santa was disappointed. My sister sat on his left knee, and I was on his right. We had waited in line for at least a half hour for the opportunity to speak with him. My sister was eight, and I was four. She pulled me along, zigzagging through the department store to get there. I was not sure what was happening, but I do remember at some point hitting my sister while sitting on Santa’s lap. Santa addressed me in a gentle but firm voice. Hitting my sister was not nice, and if I wanted him to come to my house, I would need to say I was sorry. In that moment, I began to cry and apologize. Santa let me rest against his chest for a few seconds and then gently spoke to us about what we wanted for Christmas.
God called John the Baptist to bring his message because of his love and desire to be with people. His message was simple: “God is coming and you need to repent.” John was led by God to prepare the people for the truth that each individual needs to repent, move away from a life of sin, and draw close to God. He wanted them to learn to deal with sin and own the responsibility to learn to live differently because God’s promise of salvation was drawing near.
Acknowledge and confess sinful activity to draw close to God.
Nancy Pike is the director of creative arts and congregational care at LifeSpring Church. She recently completed a masters of pastoral ministry at Wesley Seminary.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.