"The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
Ministry of John the Baptist
3 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, 2 “ Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven! ” 3 He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said:
4 John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey.
5 People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. 6 As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. 7 Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “ You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? 8 Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. 9 And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. 11 I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 12 The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out. ”
Foreword by William H. Willimon
This collection of vividly illustrative sermons by a leading contemporary Episcopalian preacher eloquently heralds the Christian call to faith in the face of modern challenges.
Widely known for their up-to-the-minute relevance to modern life, the sermons of Fleming Rutledge are always out on the edge, challenging the boundaries of contemporary thought and experience. No issue is too threatening, no event too shocking, no question too impertinent to be addressed. Following Karl Barth’s dictum that sermons should be written with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other, Rutledge weaves the changing events of the daily news together with the unchanging rhythms of the church seasons. Her book leads readers through the liturgical year, from All Saints to Pentecost, showing how the biblical story intersects with our own stories.