John tells those who have come to be baptized that their faith needs to make a difference to their everyday living. He shares three kinds of teaching: a warning to the crowds not to rely on their religious pedigree; advice on some simple ways to live justly; and a prophetic promise about the greatness of the one who is to come. His listeners ask what they need to do. John’s response is not without cost to the individual. He also speaks directly to the situations of those asking the questions – and speaks of how they can relate to others.
The crowd that came to John for baptism thought ancestry was enough, and they didn’t need to do any more than that. Perhaps we think that calling ourselves Christian, or attending church, is enough. But it isn’t. We are called to ‘bear good fruit’, and the responsibility for that lies with us.
This week we explore being a sign of the good news in our everyday lives.
Lectionary Bible readings for RCL Advent 3 Year C
Zephaniah 3.14-20; Isaiah 12.2-6 (Canticle); Philippians 4.4-7; Luke 3.7-18