But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:7-12
Raising Up Children
We were raised with a tight grip
and we sent out with a open hand
children in a small town Sunday
morning on your knees flying bikes
until the sun would set.
We were raised with no car seats
no restraints in the back of the car
holding on for dear life
as we were rocked to sleep by motion.
We were raised by well meaning adults
returning from war and loss
ready to renew the world in their image
staring at the sleeping strangers
they had made.
We were baptized so early on
a babe in a mother's arms
those arms now withered and soft
beat the flour and dough into submission
and reigned with a iron fist.
We have children of our own
and they have children too.
God has made us children despite our frailty
our infirmity, our rebellion, our confusion
and our broken family trees.
God has made us children, a family
and we are made in the image of one
who loved us from the start.