Doing the Right Thing

12.16.18       Luke 3:7-18   

The classic Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” carries a message we often forget:  your life DOES make an impact on your community.  The choices you make do make a difference in the quality of life of your family, your neighbors, and even people you don’t know.  Frank Cappra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” is one of our family’s favorite Christmas movies.  In case you are not familiar with the story line, here it is:  When his family business is facing closure due to a large sum of money falling into the wrong hands, George Bailey succumbs to the stress, attempts suicide, and is rescued by the bumbling angel Clarence.  Clarence shows George what his community would have been like if he had not had an impact on it.  In place after place and for person after person, George sees that his life had made a positive impact in many ways on an entire community through the decisions he made—whether it was rescuing his brother from the icy water, telling the truth to the pharmacist who made a mistake, helping people to own their own homes, or consistently treating people with kindness and respect. The images of life without him were very bleak for many in the community, and with the angel’s help, George recognizes that his life is valuable.  The ending is filled with great joy and celebration as the whole community shows up in gratitude to George, pitching in funds to keep the business open.

            Your choices are important.  They do make an impact on your family, on your neighbors, on your community at large.  That is a key part of John’s message to the crowds who came out to see him in the desert by the Jordan River.  What you do does matter.  Remember from last week that his role is like the setter on the volleyball team.  He is setting it up for Jesus, preparing people to be ready to become Jesus followers. Continue reading

Prepare the way of the Lord! 

Luke 3:1-6      12.10.18

In volleyball, each side is allowed three touches on the ball.  Good volleyball players make use of all three touches if they can.  The first touch keeps it in the air, and the second touch sets it up for the third touch to drive the point home.  The second touch is the setter, a crucial step in any play.  The setter does not make the point, doesn’t get all the cheers from the crowd, but the point would definitely not be made without the setter.

John is like the setter on the volleyball team. He sets up the ball so that Jesus can drive home his point.  He sets up the crowd so they will be ready to hear and truly follow what Jesus has to say.  He is paving the way for Jesus.  Think about it– if Jesus had simply shown up one day and people had not been prepared, they likely would not have received his message. Continue reading