How easy it is to fall into the mundaneness of life. We are creatures of habit and routines that become the accepted way of our day and anything outside that realm upsets the apple cart, or the wheat cart as related to today’s scripture. I’m one who’s more apt to be anything but the norm but I too can get into the mundane of life spiritually speaking very quickly. I have to work at keeping my faith on fire because Satan stands ready to quench it at every opportunity and often times with a good dose of normal.
I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
Fire Starter and Fashion Stopper
John the Baptist fanned the flames of the religious crowd. They thrived on normal, religious practices and ceremonial acts that looked fancy and gave their self-righteous egos a boost. But enter on scene the camel clad, bug and honey eating John, preaching repentance and stirring up the fires of faith and the normal seekers were out of their element and not very happy about it. John had caused quite a stir in the community by preaching of the Messiah that was about to be made known and in the process calling out the Sadducees and Pharisees calling them a “generation of vipers” in verse 7. I would venture a guess that that is the equivalency of our “snake in the grass” sentiment of today. Yes, John had upset the norm. His taste of style didn’t fit their flair, nor did his taste of locust and honey likely fulfill their dietary delights. To be honest, if John entered my home town I’d think he was a little weird too.
I’ve come to appreciate weird.
I attended for my third year, Winter Jam (a Christian Rock Concert) kicking and screaming all the way. Not really, but it’s not my favorite music; however it is some of my favorite people and friends of the faith, so I go… with a “bless me if you can attitude.” And God said… “Okay I will.” And He did. With the exception of couple of the acts who I considered to be loud and obnoxious, at which time I scoped out the merchandise tables. But my point is this… to the judgmental religious crowd the Winter Jam scene is all locusts. It really bugs them. So much so that they feel compelled to preach and condemn on the banks of the river while the Holy Spirit has arrived in the water.
It’s not their norm. Those weird dressing people with the long hair and strange message in music upsets their wheat cart.
Well, it didn’t upset mine. I felt the fan blowing the chaff (unimportant, useless things) out of my life as the Holy Spirit moved the crowd and moved my heart to do more for the Kingdom of God. It wasn’t my normal, Baptist service. Those bands will likely never don the platform of my home church, and that’s okay, because that’s not how we worship there. Our multigenerational crowd worships in obedience to the Holy Spirit.
And that’s what matters most.
Goal for 2016… Be less normal. Unusual. Some might say I’ve been practicing that for years…
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