December 4, 2016
Text: Matthew 3: 1-13
Asking for forgiveness and committing one’s life to God and Finding Peace within ourselves and amongst the people who are walking this Earth with us.
I have been speaking lately to friends who are dealing with tremendous adversity about simply devoting oneself to God, Love and Hope. When we are overwhelmed by life’s suffering and pain and struggles, sometimes all we can do is focus on a few words at a time...God, Love and Hope. The story of John the Baptist calling out in the wilderness speaks to this. He has left his home, he is a wanderer communing with God and he is acting on the divine inspiration he is receiving. He is sustaining himself on locusts and wild honey. His clothing is created by combing the hair of a camel. This represents his great love for God’s natural world...he is living gently on the earth. He is at the same time reaching out courageously with love and compassion to the diverse peoples of the region...people of many different tribes, Jews and Gentiles ...and telling them to come join him in what he perceives as a life giving recommitment to God. He offers them baptism...a ritual of asking for forgiveness for hurtful destructive God-less living and committing their lives anew to God and welcoming the new leadership of Jesus--the coming Messiah. John’s message focuses on God, Love and Hope and Peace.