By: Neal Kimes
Reflection—v. 10, ‘what shall we do?’
We have all heard the saying, ‘out with the old, in with the new.’ All around us, we can see the prevalent negative results of people doing the same old thing. In Jesus’s day, John preached a preamble to Jesus’ mission and work: the building up of a new kind of community. God’s kingdom is not business-as-usual, but a new creation—a new society which displays to the world God’s redeemed physical, spiritual, mental, and economic relationship with us in Christ Jesus. John passionately urged the people to do something different—to change their hearts and lives in tangible ways. He tells the tax collectors not to take more than they need, and the soldiers not to exploit their position. This is real, practical advice about how to bring about a better community: do not take more than you need and do not exploit. God is still urging us today. May we all take up the people’s cry and say, ‘What shall we do?’ And then do it! Remember we are not blessed just for ourselves, we are blessed so that God, through us, can bless others.
Prayer: Lord, what shall we do? You have shown us: let us not take more than we need nor exploit our neighbor. Let us instead look to bless, so that we may become a new kind of community.