Yesterday I blogged about gaseous mangoes being redeemable in line with John the Baptist’s instruction to Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. A few verses later in Luke, we’re introduced to who was considered the most ‘off’ in the mind of the ancient Jews.
It was the tax collectors. Read this evaluative language from Luke as he continues to write about John’s work:
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
Did you notice the judgment? Wow! Even the tax collectors. No one is expecting them to come seeking baptism and repentance. The reason why is given also: they deliberately rip people off and make them pay higher taxes.
No one likes a dodgy tax collector.
And evidently Luke doesn’t expect them to come to be baptised, or he knows his readers won’t expect it. Either way, it seems that this group is not your usual candidature for a religious gathering.
But they came.
Maybe the baby in the manger seems palatable to you because he’s not going to judge you, but you think that the adult Jesus would.
John the Baptist is Jesus’ forerunner. John the Baptist welcomed those who were not expected to come.
Anyone is welcome.
At Christmas time, remember that if you don’t usually go to Church you most certainly can. The baby in the manger who grew up into a man would want you there.
For those of us that do usually go to Church, at Christmas time we should remember that the Church doors are open. If we don’t expect a certain group of people to want to join in with the celebrations, then that’s our wrong thinking, not theirs.
Yours in welcoming anyone,