Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”
Advent, as a time of preparation, is not just a time of quiet reflection. It is a call to action. John, the baptiser, in this selection from Luke’s gospel, is being very direct. God is bringing about change and is calling us to account. Get on God’s good side and share what you have with the poor. Wealth and prosperity are great things. Hanging on to wealth and prosperity for your self is not so great. Wealth increases when it is shared and diminishes when it is protected.
John’s call for reform and repentance was signified through washing with water. He pointed to one who would come that would wash in Spirit and fire. Come, Lord Jesus, Come.