But it is only ever by God’s grace that we can come to him: Humble and empty-handed, walking in the way of the tax collector, not the Pharisee.
We don’t often associate this message with Christmas. I have yet to read or even write a Christmas story that includes it. It doesn’t seem to fit. John’s message and ministry as a whole don’t seem to fit. And yet, when our four chief storytellers set out to tell us the Christmas story in the most basic of terms, they each include John’s message and ministry.
I know, everyone who serves in a pastoral role has been a pandemic pastor for a while now. But I am a sucker for a strong opening line. And I feel like I can say it a little more emphatically than most. You see, I am pastoring a community I have never known outside of the pandemic.