Well, there goes the theme of joy! John is preaching a revolutionary message that ends up costing him his life. It is a message that calls for an examination of whether or not our lives are bearing fruit. It is a call to remove those thoughts, behaviors, and habits that do not bear fruit, and, in fact, may be harmful to ourselves or others. His message is an urgent warning that we should take nothing for granted, that the best time to turn back to God is now.
For some, it was a message that inspired fear, but instead of yelling, “Run for your lives,” the crowd asks, “What, then, should we do?” Notice that both the crowds and John understand that transformation often begins with actions. They do not ask, “What should we think?” or “What should we profess?” Instead, they ask what they should do. John suggests sharing their extra coats and food with others and living honestly.
This week, make it a point to go through your closet and find extra coats, gloves, and hats that you could take to a charity organization. Before you donate them, pray a blessing over them, asking God to surround the recipient with a sense of wholeness and peace.