Matthew 3:1-17, John the Baptist

Drastic changes. I don’t know about you but I have never been one for drastic changes. They never seem to be sustainable and people respond to our drastic changes with drastic measures of their own. It also seems that drastic changes never really accomplish what was intended.

Obviously in cases where our lives are at risk, it makes sense to make those drastic changes — to stop smoking, change eating habits, take medication, exercise, etc. Is John trying to tell us that we are in that same boat spiritually? That we have gotten so comfortable with our bad habits that our spiritual lives are seriously in jeopardy? Come on, it can’t be that bad, can it?

OK, so maybe we sleep in on a Sunday mornings instead of going to church. Or we check out the internet and play an extra game on the computer instead of spending a little time talking with God. We will do it next week (but next week never comes, does it?) And don’t we deserve to spend our free time with folks who think like us and our money on ourselves (even though we really don’t need anything)? Isn’t calling for drastic changes a bit of an overreaction?

With our physical health, we know that seemingly small bad habits can accrue over time until drastic changes in our life style are the only way to get us back to safety. The same with our spiritual health. When the little day to day habits put us in jeopardy of losing that which is most valuable – the love, hope, peace, and joy that comes from a close relationship with God, then yes, drastic changes are needed. John is telling us – don’t wait, start those drastic changes now because things are about to change – drastically.

(if this resonates with you, please share with your friends)