Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalms 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17; Romans 15:4-9; Matthew 3:1-12
In today’s Gospel episode, John the Baptist announces to his followers the imminent coming of the Messiah: the Lord Jesus Christ. And, in so doing, he begins the process of radically changing their way of living. “Repent,” he demands. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand” (Mt. 3:3).
The demand John the Baptist made of his followers is the demand Jesus makes of us here and now.
To conclude a long sermon on repentance, a fire and brimstone preacher declared, ” … I want everyone in this congregation to know that there is one amongst us who especially needs to repent this day … a man who has been unfaithful to his wife. I know who he is, and if he knows what is good for him he’d better put a fifty dollar bill in today’s offering.”
Later, when the collection money was counted, it was discovered that it included fourteen fifty dollar bills, together with a note attached to an offering…
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