This morning I came across a reflection on Sunday's gospel reading that impresses me greatly. It is by by Kate Huey and I found it on the United Church of Christ website. If you have time, please go on over and read the entire piece; you'll be glad you did. In the meantime, I offer this snippet:
John came preaching a message of challenge and exhortation. In his day, the powers-that-be had arranged a world based on empire, with those at the top grabbing – through force and greed – the lion's share of power and material wealth for themselves (imagine that!). It wasn't just the Roman Empire and their puppets that experienced his wrath, but the religious institutions as well felt the sting of John's rebuke. John's message about the forgiveness of sins and being baptized in a river made the Temple and its elaborate systems run by powerful priests sound rather unnecessary.That last sentence truly caught my attention. I never thought about the baptism of John making the temple penitential system unnecessary. That explains a lot, doesn't it?