“You brood of vipers?! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?!” Were you able to hear what else John the Baptizer had to say after these words? the lessons that go to the heart of our faith?
During the season of Advent, we focus on waiting and preparing for the coming of our Lord on Christmas Day. We stop for a season and try to reorient the thoughts of our hearts to the good news that is coming into the world, and we enter into a season of introspection and prayer in order to prepare our hearts to receive Christ into the world on that glorious morning. Our waiting begins with readings that foretell of Christ’s coming again with good apocalyptic readings from the gospel. In the second week of Advent, we learn of John the Baptist also preaching in the wilderness of the coming of Christ. He calls for us to prepare the way of the Lord as all flesh will see the salvation of God. Our time in Advent up to this point is focused on preparing ourselves to be recipients of that salvation by taking the time to fill the valleys of our hearts with the love that God shares with each of us in our daily living. As we turn to this week, John the Baptist takes his cry in the wilderness to a new level and offers us one more way to prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ on Christmas morn. Did you hear it? Did you listen to the response that the crowd gave to John’s proclamation in the wilderness? He starts with a brood of vipers, and the crowd responds in a way that should take us by surprise in our hearing. They do not recoil from his words or question his message. Instead, they turn and ask him, “What then should we do?” Continue reading