John came in the wilderness preaching, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” The Jews came to the Jordan and were baptized by him. This call to a baptism of repentance was from a Jewish prophet to the Jewish people, God’s people. It was a baptism which was done to you. You did not wash yourself; someone else washed you in the waters of the river. The people of God were called to return to him with a pure heart, living the fruits of repentance: love, compassion for the poor and oppressed, hope and joy in the Lord.
As followers of Christ we are called to live a life of repentance. A southern gentleman once told me, “I ‘fess ‘em as I does ‘em.” Good advice. It keeps us close to our Lord moment by moment. Our Lord knows what we think, what we say and what we do, so we may as well talk to him about it. We can’t hide from him. He always wants us to return to be forgiven and renewed.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for forgiving my sins. Fill me with your love and compassion. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by David Hefner, Pastor of Shiloh Lutheran Church in Hickory, NC.