Today’s Reading: Luke 3:7-18
Like many folks, I had mixed feelings during my senior year of high school. There were pieces of me that was so ready to move on to the next stage of my life. I felt as if I had gotten about as much as I could out of high school and was ready for new challenges. I also was growing increasingly bored living in the small town (population 1,500) in which I lived. Those were the parts of me that were excited about the upcoming change.
There was another part of me, however, that was completely terrified. I had been born and raised in the town in which I lived – and most everyone I knew lived there. “Would I be able to make new friends?” I wondered. I was also moving across state to a new city whose population was close to 200,000 people. “How would I adapt to life in the ‘big city’?” I ask myself. I was so torn between competing emotions.
In many ways, this is the sentiment that John the Baptizer captured in today’s passage from Luke. In the passage, John talked about how Jesus will come and “make a clean sweep of your lives.” Change? Yikes! This same Jesus will “place everything true in its proper place before God – everything false he’ll put out with the trash”.
Not exactly warm and fuzzy language here.
Thankfully, the author of Luther didn’t leave us there with a one-sided sense of the new experiences Jesus would bring. He added that John “gave strength to the people, words that put heart in them.” (excerpts from Luke 3:16-18 from The Message).
As you move closer to the opportunity to once again affirm the coming of the Christ-child into your life, I imagine it stirs mixed feelings as well. Feelings of excitement for the change and transformation it will herald; feelings of fear as you anticipate what it might mean to surrender some of your sense of control. If that’s where you are today, I would offer these words. As I look back now on my transition from high school to college, I know this: while the transition might not have always been easy, it was absolutely worth it! May the same be true for you as well. Til next time…