Thursday, December 21, 2006

Isaiah 9:18-10:4; Psalm 50; 2 Peter 2:10b-16; Matthew 3:1-12

Much of today’s readings speak to our behavior. We can say all we want, but it will be our actions that carry us through at the end of the day.

It’s inspiring to read about John the Baptist. We know he was born loving the Lord Jesus. His spirit was enlightened when he was still in his mother’s womb! But he didn’t rest on his laurels, so to speak, of just believing. He didn’t rest when he determinedly prepared everyone he was to meet for the way of the Lord. He lived his life completely and utterly for one purpose.

Can you imagine how uncomfortable it must have been to wear clothes made of camel hair, with a belt to cinch his robe, in the heat of the Middle East? I’m itching just thinking about it. And surely food of locust and wild honey was not the tastiest meal that could be found or scrounged. John’s life, even for that time, was considered radical; so much so that people probably avoided him. Would I be so willing to be avoided? Would you? But John’s thirst for revealing the truth was unquenchable. His preaching didn’t stop at the repentance of sins; he advocated a constant “and then some” attitude. Eternally committed, John used his life as an example. He showed us that complete devotion to a life with Christ at its center is possible. This requires a deep love and dedication where penance and words alone won’t cut it. As difficult as it can and will be at times, we can’t just call ourselves Christians. We have to demonstrate our lives as Christians.

I don’t remember where a dear friend said he heard or read this, but it’s so true: “Always preach the Gospel, sometimes use words.” I love that! I pray you find these readings, John the Baptist’s story, and this little saying truly inspirational.

- Lisa Lintelman

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