December 09, 2005


Luke 3:7-18

"What should we do then?" the crowd asked. Luke 3:10


The changes John the Baptist was calling for do not appear radical. One commentator I know of thinks John's counsel is rather commonplace. All we need to do, it seems to him, is to love a little, show a little kindness. No career change is required. I think that interpretation goes too easy on many of us. After all, many of us are well-to-do. Many of us have far more than two sets of clothing; many of us also have two cars, two or more credit cards, and maybe even two homes. Our freezers are full. In light of our riches, John's words become unsettling. They demand a radical generosity that few of us are accustomed to. True, John does not order anyone to leave his or her job. But he does demand that we live out our faith by being honest and content and not abusing our power. Clearly, discipleship is not something for after-hours only. We are not, so to speak, to moonlight for Christ. On the contrary, our allegiance to Christ rules not only our after-work hours but also our hours in the office, at the plant, on the road, in class, and at the sales meeting. We can neither leave Christ in church on Sunday nor let him wait for us in the parking lot on weekdays. Here's a question: How do we, who are dying to self and coming alive to Christ, do our work and other activities so that we honor Christ and respect our neighbor?

Lord Jesus, too often after hearing the good news we go right back to business as usual. Forgive us, and make our every thought captive to you. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Jack Roeda

Rev. Jack Roeda is the senior pastor at Church of the Servant Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and an adjunct professor of preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary. He is married to Carol Sue Kok, and they have three children and two grandchildren. Pastor Roeda has served two previous churches: Exeter (Ont.) Christian Reformed Church and Calvary Christian Reformed Church, Holland, Michigan.

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