Monday, February 17, 2014

The Unexpected Good News

I had grand visions of being an awesome mom a couple of weeks ago when Elijah had a day off from school. My plans derailed when I hit snooze repeatedly and then messed around on my phone instead of getting up early. I proceeded to escape on the computer instead of reading a stack of books to the boys; I reacted to their fighting with my own crazy yelling, then used chocolate to numb my irritation. 

Later, as I reflected on my epic motherhood failures, I thought about John the Baptist, and the chapter I'd recently read about him. I don’t typically think of John the Baptist as a “good news” kind of guy. Probably I'd go with “abrasive weirdo.” I mean, this is the guy who wandered the desert wearing camel’s hair and eating grasshoppers.

In Luke 3, John begins with the sensitive, winsome strategy of calling his audience a “brood of vipers,” then threatens them with fiery judgment. Twice. He concludes with a dire threat: “the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire” (v. 17). Then Luke sums up John’s ministry with this unexpected description: “So with many other exhortations he preached good news to the people” (v. 18).

Wait a minute. Did I miss something? If I had to distill John the Baptist’s ministry into a word or two, I’d go with “repent,” not “good news.” But Luke cuts sharply through the false dichotomy, reminding me that repentance is good news.

Head over to Pick Your Portion today for more on how repentance is the good news we didn't expect! 

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