Cycle C

Good News C2

Second Sunday in Advent

 

New American Bible Luke 3:1-6

Bible Gateway New International Version Luke 3:1-6

 

   
 
         Imagine that God decided to send you to remind people that Jesus is coming again.  He has told you that your job is to remind people living today that they need to repent for their sins.  It is your job to tell them that they need to change their way of living.  They need to go back to obeying the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses.  You have spent your life living in the desert.  You like the simple things in life.  The only clothing you wear is a long coat made of camel’s skin, a leather belt to fasten your coat, and a pair of sandals.  You love to eat grasshoppers…especially those chocolate covered ones that your mother, Elizabeth makes for you when you go home for a visit.  You also feast on honey the bees made from the nectar they got from nearby desert flowers.

          As a sign of repenting for their sins, God wants you to baptize his people with the water of the Jordan River or the Catawba or whatever river is nearest you. You will say, “I baptize you in the name of God.  Christians didn’t make the sign of the cross until the year 240 A.D (240  years after the birth of Christ).  People were being killed just for being Christians.  So to save their lives, Christians made a sign of the cross in the dirt with their walking sticks.  If the other person was a Christian, they made the same sign.  Then they knew they were with friends and could pray together.  Probably, when they were inside a building or didn’t have a stick or couldn’t draw a cross in the dirt, then they started making the sign of the cross using their foreheads, hearts, and shoulders, like we do today.

          Some people will judge you by what you wear…a coat of camel’s skin, sandals.  They may judge you because of what you eat, like locusts, grasshoppers, and honey.  They may not listen to your words because they are judging you by their standards.  God is judging you by his standards.  If God is happy with you, you don’t have to worry about anyonelse.

          Would you be brave enough to tell the head of a large company…the king or queen of a country…the president of a nation that they are living in sin…the people in your neighborhood…the people in the next town?  Would you tell them that they need to be baptized? Would you tell them that they should tell God they are sorry for their sins and make changes in the way they live in order to follow God’s commandments. This is what God asked John the Baptist to do.  John the Baptist was willing to do this for God. John the Baptist “talked a walk for God.”  He told people to choose God’s path.

          How would you encourage people to change their ways?  Would you make billboards?  Would you send emails?  Would you put an ad in the newspaper?  “Come to banks of the Catawba River at 12:00 noon on December 25th.  Repent and Be Baptized to Wash Away Your Sins.  Bring towels.  You will receive a new white garment to wear home.”

Perhaps God did not ask you to be like John the Baptist.  Maybe God just wants you to be a good example to others.  When you are good and follow God’s laws, other people will see that it works great.  Then, they will want to change on their own.  You won’t have to say a word.  Actions speak louder than words.  Actions show what words cannot say.  People sometimes say one thing and do another. As a saying goes now, “Walk your talk.”  Go the way you say you should.

          People who have earned millions of dollars by doing wrong things, could have made the same amount of money by doing things right…legally.  You can do all things with the help of God.  God will show you how. 

Now pray the “Our Father.” Ask God to give you the strength to obey his laws, to do what is right, and to be a good example by what you say and what you do.  Ask him to help you forgive yourself and others for going off his path.  Then you will be ready when Jesus comes for you. 

 

 

 

 “Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  Amen.

 

 

 

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