The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,'” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” NRSV
I messenger that wears rough clothes and a big belt, that eats nuts and berries.
There was this guy, who took what he could find from the land. A man who Occupied some space down by the Jordan River. He drew crowd of attention and people flocked from all around.
For all of the outlandish demands and lewd activities of those folks who are taking over parks, streets and sidewalks around the country there is a important voice of warning to hear.
We have forsaken what has made our country great. We have taken advantage of folks and
Mario and his baggy pants, Giant belt buckle the size of Texas, grubs and honey.. eating off the land..
Tips for dumpster diving… ordering a pizza to a false address, health department says it can’t be reserved, dive in to dumpster behind the pizza place for hot pizza, free.
The call is to prepare for Christ to come.
Hear his invitation and warning.
If we do hear the call. What does it mean for us personally?
Make right, straighten up, ..or measure up? No
Make room, make a way, let go…
The one coming is greater than I am. I can’t even tie my shoes compared to what He will do for me and for you.
The response is to confess our sins and make changes in our behavior, and not the reverse
People were baptized, an act of repentance then, as a cleansing of sin.
Baptism is God’s claiming us, even though we have sinned, do sin and will continue to do so.
Baptism is God grafting us into the fold, when our roots are withered..
What do we celebrate is coming.. a spiritual celebration: This is where so much our Christmas traditions get in the way.
We living in the anticipation of Christ’s return and Christ’s presence with us until that time.
Rather than be critical of one another
Rather than making it difficult for each other
Rather than taking on the role of judge which is not our job nor call, we are to follow….
Different Baptism, Different Message
John, that baptized, called people to get cleaned up
Jesus, who was himself baptized, came to claim us through baptism.
Jesus’ baptism was not about washing sin away, it was about bringing us life: power, breath, and meaning to our spiritual life.
We are not baptized in the name and work of John, rather in the name and claim of Jesus Christ.
Listen to the messengers that give us life and call us to remember who gives us life.
Don’t judge the messenger at the risk of excluding or not hearing the Good News
Trust your baptism in Jesus Christ, that comes to make you life full and whole.