Scripture Reading — Luke 3:1-6
“All people will see God’s salvation.” —
In our verses for today, Luke introduces us to the international political and religious leaders of that time. Then we read, “The word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness.” The whole world of that day was being governed by others; yet God called John to prepare for the coming of another King by leveling mountains and filling valleys. In the wilderness John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
The wilderness is a risky and uncertain place. There we can see things through different eyes, beyond the reach of the status quo and normal expectations. That’s where the Word of the Lord came to break and change the world.
Mountains were leveled and valleys filled as merchants repented of unfair business practices, soldiers repented of brutal abuse to gain money, and government workers repented of unjust demands for taxes. High and low came to confess secret sins, and all were baptized in the Jordan River.
Preparation for the coming King was sealed in baptism as people plunged beneath the waters of the Jordan and came up again. It marked a commitment to end an old life and to begin a new one with God.
Today Jesus calls us to be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Have you committed your life to the Lord?
Lord of all, thank you for your Word. Give us the humility to repent and to make crooked places straight in our lives. In your name, Amen.