11.10.21 | Advocacy and Action
Third Sunday in Advent: Dec. 12 - Celebrating Joy
Gracious and loving God, we thank you for the time and this moment as we kneel down before you and meditate on your message today. Give us your wisdom and help us to have deeper knowledge to know the reason why you sent your son. We pray in your name, Amen.
Musical Selection: UMH 382 Have Thine Own Way, Lord
Scripture: Luke 3:7-11
In Luke 3:7-11, we see John the Baptist rebuke the crowds, and it sounds so harsh. “You brood of vipers,” he says. Have you ever heard these comments in your congregations or during your worship? It would be hard to listen to these types of words. I know it is hard to take.
Then, John told them the reason. “Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.” The crowds that John the Baptist was talking to were so proud of the fact that they were descendants of Abraham, and they knew they were chosen people; God blessed Israel!
However, John pointed out that they missed something important. He directly asked them if they had lived as faithful believers, if they did good things, if they reached out to people in need, if they shared the love of God. He did not ask about the background in which they were raised, nor the religious environment in which they grew up, but about the faithful fruit that they produced. Yes, bearing fruit is a key. Bearing good fruit! Do the right things for the Kingdom of God.
I still listen to the questions of the crowds in our passage. They repeatedly said, “What should we do?” I believe it is a good start to make a meaningful change during this Advent season.
This Week's Question
As we recall the reason why God sent His Son, and the example that Jesus showed us, we may ask ourselves the same question of the people during this Advent season: “What should we do as the children of God?”
Rev. Dr. Steven (SungHwan) Cho is pastor of Ward’s Chapel UMC in Randallstown. An Elder in the Korean Methodist Church, he is a spiritual leader, preacher, life coach and author.
The artwork this week was created by Lyla, age 10, of Mt. Carmel UMC in Frederick.