SERMON TITLE: “Preparing the Way”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 3:1-6
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: November 28, 2021, at First UMC
Because my mom moved from Montana to Ogden this fall, she wanted to send out her holiday mail early, so she could let all her far-away relatives and friends know her new address. So, a few weeks ago, Mom and I went shopping for Christmas stationery and Christmas stamps. Then Mom got busy typing up her letter about this new phase of her life. I helped Mom update her mailing list in an Excel spreadsheet. We removed some names because the people had died, and we had to do some research on others to get their current addresses. Because I so rarely create mailing labels, I had to pull up a YouTube video tutorial to remind me how to do that. Over several days, Mom stuck on labels, wrote personalized notes, folded letters, and stuffed and sealed her envelopes. Then I carried them off to be mailed.
Now Mom can breathe easy, knowing that she’s done with that major part of her Christmas preparations. For me personally, however, it’s a different story: not a letter or card or Christmas email yet written. And—in spite of all the supply chain warnings—I’ve hardly begun my Christmas shopping. All those preparations are yet to be done.
Putting up decorations, sending out cards, and buying presents all contribute to our holiday cheer. But there’s also a spiritual side of getting ready for Christ’s birth. Just like a recipe for baking holiday cookies, today’s gospel reading about John the Baptist gives us some helpful hints about preparing the way.