I’ve been a Baptist for all but 18 of the 870 months of my life. Those non-Baptist 18 months were at the very beginning, ending when my parents abandoned the small Presbyterian church near our home and looked for a church of any kind that had the best Christian education program for their long-awaited and only child. The largest Baptist church in town fit that bill. I’m figuring that this being a Baptist for so long accounts for my less-than-enthusiastic observance of Lent over the years.
Rayfield Wright, the football Hall of Famer for the Dallas Cowboys from 1967-1979, isn’t sure he’ll watch Super Bowl XLVIII this coming Sunday. If he chooses not to, I’ll join him – although for slightly different reasons.
It’s difficult, in an exaggerated understatement, to envision “bearing fruit” when, to quote a secular hymn of the season, “the weather outside is frightful…” About the only thing that is being produced currently is an abundance of snow, as in “…let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” And this year, below zero temps to boot. So starting the Sunday observance of Epiphany with a passage of Gospel about “bearing fruit” seems, at the very least, ill-timed. Focus for now should be, it seems, on what benefits might come with hibernation.
We have to assume, I think, that they didn’t come as a cohort – the Pharisees and Sadducees, that is. Just some, maybe only a few, of each group appeared out there in the wilderness of Judea, where John the Baptizer was dipping people in the Jordan River – those who heeded his call to repent.
A nagging question: what are those in the U.S. Congress teaching our children? – those, that is, who are shutting down the government and threatening to refuse the raising of the national debt ceiling, under the threat of national and world-wide economic havoc?