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John the Baptist is a central figure in Advent. He was the one who cried out,   “Christ is coming – we best get ready!” Whatever we think of John with his camel hair and diet of bugs, John took his faith seriously, seriously enough to sacrifice for it. These days when terrorist are willing to sacrifice OTHERS for their faith John and Jesus set an example by being willing to sacrifice themselves, to give all to the cause of crying out to people to look up for the mundane lives to see the very presence of God invading their life like a holy plague of justice and good news.

The question John asks us, and Jesus after him is this: “WHAT IF ANYTHING have you and I done to do battle against the great darkness of things? As parents and the children of our own parents, as wives and husbands and friends and lovers, as players of whatever parts we have chosen to play in this world, as wielders of whatever kind of power, as possessors of whatever kind of wealth, what other human selves have we sacrificed something of our own sweet selves to help and heal?”

"Bear fruit that befits repentance!" thunders the Baptist. "Give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness and put upon us the armor of light," whispers the prayer we pray. Bear fruit. Put on light like a garment, like a uniform. Wear the faith and may it stick to us like sweat and lay upon us like sunshine.

Together in Christ,

Pastor Steve