"I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." (Matthew 3:11 NRSV)

One of my favorite PEANUTS cartoons has Lucy coming to Charlie Brown and saying, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. Since it's the Christmas season, I think we ought to bury past differences and try to be kind." Charlie Brown asks, "Why does it just have to be this time of the season? Why can't it be all year long?" Lucy looks at him and exclaims, "What are you, some kind of fanatic?"

A fanatic that is what some of the people thought John the Baptist was. I'm sure that many of us would say the same thing about a hairy man who came out of the wilderness.

But, John the Baptist has a message for us to day. John is calling us to change and prepare our lives for coming of the Messiah-Jesus Christ.


God of Christmas, help me to prepare for Christ's coming. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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