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Luke 3:7-14 (NIV)
7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” 10 “What should we do then?” the crowd asked. 11 John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” 13 “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them. 14 Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
This passage always fascinates me. It seems that to some degree we all live in fear that the end is coming, maybe ours personally or the entire world, and we are afraid that we are not going to make the cut. The cross tells us we have hope! But here, the people listening to John ask: “Then what should we do?!” What “good fruit” should we be producing? John shocks us. Live with contentment? Work hard at the job you have been hired to do? Share with others? Don’t take what is not ours? That does not sound very complicated. These are things we teach our kids! So why do we make life so hard? What seemingly simple things might God be calling you to do? Do the dishes, make the bed, make dinner for your family? Do what your boss asks without grumbling? Keep using your old phone instead of spending hundreds of dollars to upgrade? Share and bless others?