Who Warned You to Flee from the Wrath to Come?

This meditation is based on a passage for December 16, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: Matthew 3:1-12

Reflection and Question: The personality of John the Baptist shines through this description of how he emerged on the scene as a reformer calling all to repent of their sins and be cleaned. John has an edge to his message much like Isaiah who is quoted. Both have messages that are hard to hear. “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” is no gentle encouragement, but rather a harsh judgment and a challenge in the form of a question. Still, John knows that his baptism is mild compared to Jesus’ baptism in the Holy Spirit and fire. What fruit is worthy of repentance?

Prayer: Jesus, our Savior, John warns us that You will gather Your wheat into the granary but the chaff You will burn in unquenchable fire. May our lives bear good fruit so that we need not fear the ax lying at the root of the tree. Raise us up, we pray. Amen.