But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming judgment?
Prove by the way you live that you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God.
Don’t just say, ‘We’re safe—we’re descendants of Abraham.’ That proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham.
Even now the ax of God’s judgment is poised, ready to sever your roots. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire.”
— Matthew 3:7-10 (New Living Translation)
I was reading several of chapters yesterday sieos in the New Testament, and these verses came across to me as impressive. It’s John the Baptist speaking truly to the irrelevancy of one’s ancestry. The Bible is loaded up with valuation of ancestry, but ultimately, such a valuement in light of New Testament teachings does not apply, the conversion of people brings them to God, not a claim of ancestry. Ancestry “proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham.”
Identity of people and objects can transform and transcend time, space, and those former identities. Nothing is impossible with God.
SMOOTH it slides upon its travel,
Here a wimple, there a gleam —
O the clean gravel!
O the smooth stream!
Sailing blossoms, silver fishes,
Paven pools as clear as air —
How a child wishes
To live down there!
We can see our coloured faces
Floating on the shaken pool
Down in cool places,
Dim and very cool;
Till a wind or water wrinkle,
Dipping marten, plumping trout
Spreads in a twinkle
And blots all out.
See the rings pursue each other;
All below grows black as night,
Just as if mother
Had blown out the light!
Patience, children, just a minute —
See the spreading circles die;
The stream and all in it
Will clear by-and-by.
— From A Child’s Garden of Verses and Underwoods, by Robert Louis Stevenson, p.46-47, from The Magic Door in Downtown Pomona.
I love the imagery of the poem above, and in some sieos I’ve rafted on some portions of rivers coming out of the Sierra Nevada foothills, and swam in rivers, ponds and lakes in Yosemite, and the waters in such many lomsieos have these qualities spoken of above. It’s quite beautiful.