Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum
Reflection: v.18, ‘he proclaimed the good news to the people’
We have already established that John the Baptist isn’t pulling any punches with his preaching. He is using some pretty startling imagery to call the people of God to account. He calls them vipers and tells them they need to change their ways and stop being so complacent. John’s preaching is not a pleasant or easy word, and yet scripture tells us that what he proclaims is ‘good news.’ How could it be that what challenges us, sometimes upsets us, and calls us to account could also be ‘good news?’ Good news for the poor will not feel so good for those who exploit for wealth. Good news for those without housing will not feel so good for those trying to make a quick buck in the current market. Good news for the downtrodden will not feel so good for those who find their identity in putting others down. Good news for the oppressed will not feel so good for the oppressor. So if we feel unsettled by John’s harsh words–good. Let us sit with that this Advent season as we prepare our hearts for Jesus. Let us remember that the good news that John proclaimed and Jesus embodied was good news for the poor, the outcast, and the oppressed. Let us repent of our ways that we may hear it, embrace it, and live it.
Prayer Open our hearts to accept your good news that we may embody it as you did, Jesus.