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Luke 3:7-18, Salvation is Already Ours

Key Verse

So, with many other exhortations, [John] proclaimed the good news to the people.
— Luke 3:18

RCL Daily Devotion for Sunday, December 16, 2018

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

Happy face child.

Main Idea: There is no quick fix for this world; God’s reign is made well slowly, one right move at a time.

John the Baptist, one of the last prophets to come on the scene before Jesus’ arrival, proclaimed and encouraged a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Yet, when the crowds came he shamed them. Why? Our clue is in his reference to Abraham. Apparently, the crowds he scolded were relying on their blood, their ancestry, and their inheritance through Abraham to receive God’s blessings. But John knew it was not enough to do nothing and hope for everything. When Jesus was baptized, the heavens opened and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove. The rending of the heavens was a symbol of the rending of the barrier that separated humanity from God. It was the beginning of God’s reign here on earth. And the bringing about of God’s reign on earth depends on the lives, words, thoughts, and actions of people.

People can spend far too much time worrying about what they must do to inherit eternal life. Salvation is already ours. Our time might be better spent figuring out how to bring God’s reign to life here on earth. Every time we feed a hungry soul, visit one who is isolated, celebrate a widower’s birthday, give money to charity, reduce, reuse, and recycle, we are bringing about God’s reign on earth. God’s reign is not an otherworldly, unreachable place. This is God’s reign. Right here. Right now. John’s reprimand was for those seeking a quick fix to the world’s problems, a Messiah who would magically make everything right. John knew, as did Jesus, that the world is made well slowly, one right move at a time.

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Luke 3:7-18 (NRSV)

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Earlier Event: December 15
Luke 1:57-66, The World Did Change