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Luke 3:1-6, Storms Rage Inside of Us

Key Verse

He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins...
— Luke 3:3

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, December 9, 2018

RCL Daily Devotions written by Dr. Kimberly Leetch from RCL Worship Resources (see more).

Screaming woman.

Main Idea: The storms that rage inside us deserve more of our attention than the storms that rage around us.

Luke was quite clear about the timing of the events of John and Jesus. Luke made sure we understood that John and Jesus came at a time when Rome ruled completely. Rome had officials in Judea, Galilee, Ituraea, Trachonities, and Abilene. Rome occupied every land of Israel. There was certainly ample evidence that a savior was due.

But when John arrived on the scene, he wasn’t proclaiming an overthrow of the Roman government. He proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. He recognized that Israel was in bondage, not only to Rome, but to its own sins and failings. Israel had become a people of injustice, conflict, classism, discrimination, and an infiltration of Roman influence. While Israel did need liberation from Roman rule, it was the internal struggle that John preached about.

Maybe it’s human nature to look outside ourselves for the causes of our discomfort. When we are distressed, it is easy to blame our partner, our boss, our government. We accuse the economy, social media, environmental hazards. But we often fail to look inside ourselves for the source of our suffering. There will always be external stimuli to ruffle our feathers. How we act and respond is (mostly) within our control. How we show up in the world is up to us. Whether we choose happiness or distress is our choice.

When we prepare our own hearts and minds to receive Christ, when we anchor ourselves in the ways of Christ, then the storms that blow around us have little sway. When we reach inside for happiness, peace, strength, confidence, and righteous living, then we are truly preparing our hearts and minds to see the salvation of God.

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Full Daily Reading for the Revised Common Lectionary

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Luke 3:1-16 (NRSV)

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Earlier Event: December 8
Luke 1:68-79, Praise be to the Lord