The Advent Door Reading Plan
Day 15 Reading: Luke 3:7-18
Scripture Summary: John the Baptist brings a sharp message of repentance with clear examples of godly living.
Forget fire, forget winnowing forks, forget threshing floors; is there anything more unsettling than receiving a clear word about what we are meant to do in this world? Is there anything that risks taking us deeper into our insecurities, into our fears, into the dark unknown than when someone who sees and recognizes and knows us, then challenges us to be the person whom God has created and called us to be? And is there anything more full of wonder and hope?
– Jan Richardson, Through the Advent Door
How do we prepare the way in this time and place?
I’ve witnessed the modern day prophets
Who dip your two-edged sword in fear and hate
Divining pure from sin, saved from heretic
Confident in their judgments
There are others, too, who take a different path
Coating your sword with sugar and stories
Tickling our ears with prosperity
John picks up your sword to prepare the way
Sharp yet washed in the wilderness of prayer
Dripping with your good news
The antidote for our stealthy, venomous existence
Sever your selfishness
So generosity may grow
Cut out the cheating
So honesty may flourish
Amputate all falsehoods and threats
That your power may raise the powerless
This is Your Way, Your Truth, Your Life
Repentance and Grace
Discipline and Community
Holiness and Love
Make your way in us, O God
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
such a way as gives us breath,
such a truth as ends all strife,
such a life as killeth death.
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
such a light as shows a feast,
such a feast as mends in length,
such a strength as makes his guest.
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
such a joy as none can move,
such a love as none can part,
such a heart as joys in love
– George Herbert
For more beautiful work by today’s featured artists, The Benedictine Sisters of Turvey Abbey, click here
Click Here for another reflection on this passage by Steve Garnaas Holmes entitled The Ax at the Root. Click Here for his inspiring post Fruits of Repentance.
This year’s Advent reflections are inspired by the e-book Through the Advent Door: Entering a Contemplative Christmas [Kindle Edition] by author and artist Jan Richardson. In the style of a classic Advent calendar, Jan offers twenty-five reflections, each with an original piece of art. Consider this your invitation to join me and Jan on this journey to Christmas. – Lisa <><
For more information on the Christian season of Advent, click here
For more information on the scripture translation, art and the use of this devotional in other settings, please leave a comment.