By: Chad Hyatt
Luke 3. 7-18
Reflection—v. 10, ‘And the crowds asked him‘
The preaching of John the Baptist illustrates the idea that the justice of God is, in fact, mercy. John’s unambiguous call is the consistent demand of the prophets of old: ‘Repent!’ Repentance is, as one of our favorite translations puts it, the invitation to a ‘change of heart and life,’ both an interior and exterior renovation of our way of living. It is God’s mercy that calls us to leave behind ways of hurt and harm, of hustle and hate—ways that ultimately lead to death—and to embark at once on the radical journey toward a renewal of life. Repentance is merciful, not only because it calls us from death to life, but because it calls every one of us, with no one excluded. It is a call to all, not just a privileged few. The crowds are called. Tax collectors, getting rich off the backs of their neighbors, are called. Roman soldiers, the violent occupying army of Caesar, are called. No one, absolutely no one, is left out, because mercy radically and scandalously opens the door of God’s saving justice to all.
Prayer Lord, I am one among the crowds; by your great mercy, renew us.