SERMON TITLE: “Prepare the Way”
SERMON TEXT: Matthew 3:1-12
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: December 4, 2016, at First UMC
If you did a study where you categorized and quantified people’s conversations, I would guess that, throughout the year, the most common small talk would be about the weather or sports, or in this election year, about politics. During the season of Advent, however, I would guess that another kind of conversation would rank close to the top. It usually goes like this:
“So, Becky, do you have your Christmas shopping done yet?”
“Are you kidding, Sally? I haven’t even finished my Christmas cards!”
“I finally got mine into the mail yesterday, thank goodness. But we haven’t put up a single decoration yet, other than the wreath on the door.
“The kids helped set up our tree right after Thanksgiving, and Joe put up the outside lights yesterday. But now I really have to get started on my holiday baking, or I’ll never be ready for that big Christmas party this weekend.”
“I know what you mean. We have company coming, so I’ve got to get the house cleaned and the extra beds made. It just seems like there’s no way I’ll be ready in time!”
The big question on a lot of our minds this time of year is, “How can we be prepared for Christmas?” Fortunately for us, today’s scripture from Matthew 3 speaks to this very issue. John the Baptist wasn’t hanging Christmas lights, wrapping presents, or even practicing lines for a Christmas pageant, but he was calling the people to get ready for a fresh experience of God, incarnate in the world and in our hearts. So let’s listen to John’s proclamation. In these few precious weeks before Christmas, let’s see how we, too, can prepare the way of the Lord.