Today at church we heard the story that a lot of people were going out into the wilderness to hear John the Baptist preach. People at that time were ready for some good news. They were tired of living in a country that was occupied by an enemy. They were tired of a superficial burdensome spirituality and they were tired of their own self-centered lives.
John shared with them some simple things they could do to make things better. He said that they should turn around, change their behavior, go through a ceremony to show themselves and others that they were transitioning to something new. Repent and be baptized.
What’s next? The crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” John told them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
What John told them was pretty simple. I think the message is a good one for us as well
Give to people in need. “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.” If you have time for someone that is lonely give that too. Sometimes a simple hello or a cup of coffee can make a big difference.
If you’ve been dishonest in your work, change. If you are employed as a tax collector, accountant, salesperson or any other profession and you’ve been taking more, paying less or charging more than you should then stop! “Collect no more than you are supposed to”.
If you are someone that has power, perhaps an important buyer, a soldier a businessperson or politician that has been apt to extort others so you can make more money, stop! “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”
Something else we can also do is to buy products that assure that those who work and create it are paid a fair and ethical wage.
Drink Coffee. Do Good