"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. ”
In a clear and non-technical style, Daniel Benedict provides a manual for understanding more deeply the essentials aspects of Christian worship. The discussion is designed for individual reading and for group study. A careful use of this book will enhance both the devotional life of individuals and the spiritual growth and refreshment of entire congregations.
—Laurence Hull Stookey, PhD
Wesley Theological Seminary
This wonderful book meets a widely felt need. It gives inspiration and practical help to readers who want congregational worship to change and shape their lives. I enthusiastically commend it to all who hope there is more to worship than they have yet discovered.
Former (1972–1993) Director of Worship Resource Development
General Board of Discipleship
The United Methodist Church
AUTHOR BIO: Rev. Dan Benedict is retired Director of Worship Resourcing, GBOD, and a member of the California-Pacific Annual Conference. He is currently an author and consultant, and a longtime member of the Order of Saint Luke and the Fellowship of United Methodists in Worship and the Arts.