December 18, 2016: “Space Junk”

Posted on : Dec 15th, 2016 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

In this season of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to All,” which of the three images below best symbolizes the way you feel right now? Is your life rather tranquil (1957), somewhat cluttered (1992) or overwhelmed (2015)?

Space Junk







The other day I was so busy working and doing stuff that at midnight I realized I hadn’t even taken the time to read our Advent Daily Devotional. I’ll bet I’m not the only one who has had that experience this Advent!

Our fun video introduction to Advent by our friends at Busted-Halo, says,

Advent is not about



Planning or


It’s about



Hoping and


If you’re sick of Christmas by December 25,

You haven’t done Advent correctly.

Ah, easier said than done! But Advent is a good time to clean out some of the junk that clutters our lives and weighs us down – spiritually, materially and personally, so that we can find space to be at peace with ourselves, with our God and with others. Mike Slaughter offers us this insightful thought:

Our outward world

is a reflection of our inner world.

We have to clean out our outerspace

to open up innerspace.

That is what “John The Baptist” proclaimed in announcing / preparing people to receive Jesus.   His words were quite harsh and hard to hear, but they are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago. The graphic with the scripture below is my take on their meaning for today.

More on cleaning out the junk in our lives so we have the space to live and be this Sunday, which is our final Sunday in the Season of Advent!

Advent Blessings to you, to those you love and to our world.



~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Matthew 3: 1-12

John, the Baptizer

Matthew 3: 1-12

From “The Message,” a contemporary retelling of the Bible.

While Jesus was living in the Galilean hills, John, called “the Baptizer,” was preaching in the desert country of Judea. His message was simple and austere, like his desert surroundings: “Change your life. God’s kindom is here.”

John and his message were authorized by Isaiah’s prophecy:

Shout aloud in the desert!

Prepare for God’s arrival!
Make the road smooth and straight!

John dressed in a camel-hair habit tied at the waist by a leather strap. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild field honey. People poured out of Jerusalem, Judea, and the Jordanian countryside to hear and see him in action. There at the Jordan River those who came to confess their sins were baptized into a changed life.

When John realized that a lot of Pharisees and Sadducees were showing up for a baptismal experience because it was becoming the popular thing to do, he exploded: “Brood of snakes! What do you think you’re doing slithering down here to the river? Do you think a little water on your snakeskins is going to make any difference? It’s your life that must change, not your skin! And don’t think you can pull rank by claiming Abraham and Sarah as your father and mother. Being a descendant of Abraham and Sarah is neither here nor there. Descendants of Abraham and Sarah are a dime a dozen. What counts is your life. Is it green and blossoming? Because if it’s deadwood, it goes on the fire.

“I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kindom life. The real action comes next: The main character in this drama—compared to the One who is coming, I’m a mere stagehand—that one will ignite the kindom life within you, a fire within you, the Holy Spirit within you, changing you from the inside out. The one who is coming is going to clean house—make a clean sweep of your lives. That one will place everything true in its proper place before God; everything false will be put out with the trash to be burned.”

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