John the Baptist preaches in the wilderness about repentance, about turning away from the old ways, in an act of metanoia. Then he speaks of the power of the One who is to come, who will baptize with water and the Spirit. The Spirit works in our lives to refine us into our most authentic selves.
This brings to mind the geological wonders at Arches National Park in Utah. Those sandstone rock formations have these beautiful colored layers of compressed rock, with stunning and unique arches, shaped over time. The power of the wind and the current of the water eroded the rocks to become what they are.
Like the arches of Utah, we have been baptized by water and wind. We can allow the love of Jesus to move in our lives to shape us. The wind and the water can erode our sharp edges, those actions and thoughts that hurt us and others. In this, the Spirit refines us into our truest, most faithful selves.
This message is excerpted from the Bible study “The gift of the Spirit: A divine wild goose chase” by Sara Olson-Smith in the November/December 2021 Gather magazine. Today is the Second Sunday of Advent.
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