We are coming to the end of the St John’s tide season. Have we lived deeply with the inspiration of this being and his role in the preparation for the Christ’s incarnation? Let’s consider Luke 3: 7-18
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You are sons of the serpent yet! Who led you to believe that you can avoid the decline of the old ways of the soul? Produce true fruits in keeping with a change of heart and mind. And do not begin excusing yourselves by saying, “We have Abraham as our father.” For I tell you that God can raise up sons for Abraham out of these stones. The ax is already poised at the root of the trees, so every tree that does not produce good fruit is felled and thrown into the fire.”
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “Let the man with two tunics share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.” Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Do not collect any more than you are authorized to do,” he told them. Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Do not intimidate and do not accuse people falsely-be content with your pay.” The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ, the Messiah. John answered them all, “I wash you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will wash you with the breath of the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, while he burns up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many and various exhortations John preached the good news to the people.
These are stark and powerful words. Are they still relevant to us today? What did John mean when he said that we were sons of the serpent yet? John saw that man was infected with sinfulness from the unholy serpent that had become entangled in our astral bodies, creating self-love, desire and egotism. The old laws were no longer enough to restrain this serpent. The ties of blood and ancestral memory were dying, no good fruit could come from the ancient tree of Lucifer inspired knowing. John saw that a fundamental change in the world order would come through the Christ. He saw that man was being challenged to heal the very root of sin, overcoming all selfish instincts, by becoming sons of the Son. Preparing our hearts for this transition requires sharing our wealth with those less fortunate, practicing honesty, integrity and valuing each person as one values one’s own self – gaining sovereignty over our astral bodies. A day will come when we will be judged by our deeds, by the fruit of the tree of life we cultivate.
John foresaw the greatness of the Christ who had been descending from the sun for long ages. His love would have the power to transform the serpent into a new kind of consciousness and overcome the death forces that infected man. John was the last of the great prophets and the stream of ancient initiation wisdom ended in him. He was the bridge between the old and the new mysteries. He proclaimed the Christ as the new foundation of man’s further spiritual development.
We are still at the threshold that John describes, only many have fallen deeper under the spell of the serpent and her dark shadow of materialistic thinking. We need to hear this message today when the rich have far less contact with the poor, and greed, selfishness and injustice are endemic in our society. It is still a moment to ask if we are prepared to receive the one who waits at the door of our soul. Do we live in humility and share our inner and outer wealth with those who are impoverished? Do we rely on the wisdom of our teachers and ancestors, instead of cultivating the truth within ourselves?
From every side we are urged to honor and labor for the prince of this world, but God sent his son to proclaim another kingdom beyond the veil of sorrows, conflict and death. The kingdom of heaven lies within. That is the journey before each of us. Scripture can guide us, as can the teachings of Masters, Saints and holy ones. But it is still up to us to make that journey. As the sun’s brilliance begins to wane in the outer world, so the inner sun turns to approach the earth again. Days grow shorter, nights longer. We will need the help of the Archangel Michael to fight the demons who would prevent the Christ from reaching us. The Christ will not deceive us or persuade us in any way. He stands at the door of our hearts and waits for us to call to him. His baptism is with the breath of the Holy Spirit and spiritual fire. Let us receive him with joy and make straight the path to the Lord within us.