that was a curious beginning to the gospel reading from Luke 3 today. it continued to say that many questioned in their hearts about John and now there was this wild man yelling at the world from the desert. Isaiah had proclaimed that one would make straight the path and now one was proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
the people were filled with expectation
imagine the questions fired John's way. imagine the pressure they were under. the history weighed down on them all and now this wild man was doing something that looked like it might actually be something.
he just looked them in the eye and said, "i'm not the one you're looking for". "i'm not worthy of your adoration ... but you should get baptized anyway". finally the day came that the one who John wasn't worthy to undo his sandal would come and be proclaimed as the Son of God.
John wasn't the one they were looking for but the expectation was met by the one who came afterward.
listen to the words sent to Titus.
"The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.
For when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. This Spirit he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Saviour, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.