Pastor Rene' Bogue
In the Gospel according to Luke, chapter 3, we meet John the Baptist at the river. After a hefty rebuke to the surrounding crowd, John is asked a simple, bold question:
“What should we do?”
This question spoke for many in the group. These had not walked away at the harsh truths, had not laughed him off, or crumbled at the conviction of their own bad behavior. They wanted to go forward, and so, asked, “What should we do?”
In the space between the question and John’s ensuing answer, time stops. Here, the man who is preparing the way for the Messiah is about to tell us exactly how to behave. Exactly what God’s will is for our lives. How do we, truly, repent? Of what should we repent?
To the expectant hearer – and now reader – he says:
“If you have two shirts, give one to the poor. If you have food, share it with those who are hungry.”
He continues, answering specific questions from specific people. Tax collectors: don’t demand extra and skim off the top. Soldiers: don’t extort money or falsely accuse people.
Be kind. Be as generous as you’re able. Don’t abuse people.
This is the pinnacle of God’s will. Later, Jesus calls loving our neighbor the second commandment, likening it to the first and greatest – to love God with all we are. This is important stuff. In the book of Matthew, we see Jesus telling a story that highlights the importance of giving even a cup of water to the thirsty. This is so close to His heart that He says that showing these seemingly small kindnesses to the least among us is akin to showing it to Jesus Himself.
As we search for God’s perfect will in our lives, let’s start here. Who might be considered the least in our world, community, or lives? Who, regardless of status, just might be thirsty? As the world has become our community, where do we see suffering that we can help with in some small way? How many shirts do you have?
I am grateful that, with all that might be confusing in our world today, God has given us, through His word, a very clear picture of His will.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.