I've had the gospel reading for Advent 2 in my head all week, particularly John the Baptist's "You brood of vipers... bear fruit worthy of repentance!"
The Postulant posted a great sermon about how Advent is a penitential season, a time to prepare and make things right (well, right-er, anyway).
But it's the "bear fruit worthy of repentance!" that's sticking with me.
How much do we want to smack people when they're apologizing for the same thing for the billionth time, without any change in the choices they make-- without even any intention of change? (Yes, I know we're called to forgive 70x70 times. Still, I think God's OK with my being angry.) BEAR FRUIT WORTHY OF REPENTANCE!
How frustrated do we get when we keep doing the same damn dumb thing, over and over, instead of hunkering down, asking for God's help, and doing the hard work of making new habits? BEAR FRUIT WORTHY OF REPENTANCE!
I loved this week's sermon (yes, we'll talk soon about how I'm back worshiping with the local Lutherans), because the pastor took sin seriously, in a loving rather than an angry way. I want us to be talking about sin-- not so that we can shuffle around feeling like crap (NOT what I think we're called to do), but so that we can move towards greater freedom and joy, so that we can become more fully who God made us to be.
Because really, that's what sin's about. It's all the sludge that holds us back. It's the plastic imitation of stuff that's much better. We are God's beloved, and God longs for us to have the real thing-- love, freedom, joy, peace.
So this week, I'm praying for God to show me where I'm not bearing fruit, and to prune me where necessary.
What are you praying for this week? How can I pray with you?
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