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Life Isn't A Watermelon

Reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand
Matthew 3:1-12

Sermon Topic Repentance

Sermon Week Second Sunday of Advent Cycle A

Scripture Summary Matthew 3:2


In the early days of our nation, the town crier was the source of news for the community. He would stand in the village square and preface his announcements with the cry, "Hear ye! Hear ye!" Now we have newspapers and TV to keep us informed. But typography and electronically produced pictures have not diminished the importance of the human voice. In fact, TV gives us access to so many voices, sometimes it is difficult to know which one to listen to.

In the desert of Judea almost two thousand years ago, a voice cried out the news of the coming of the Lord. John the Baptizer attracted new followers throughout the surrounding area as he urged his listeners to reform and to be baptized in preparation for the coming of Christ. However, when the crowds flocked to him for baptism, he was not willing to administer the rite without some evidence of their sincerity. When the people asked, "What ought we to do?" he replied in specifics. They must help people who needed to be fed and clothed. Those among them who used their positions to cheat, exploit and bully other people' must stop those practices at once. In other words, it was not enough to come, confess sins, and be baptized. To properly prepare oneself for the coming of the Lord, one must be ready and willing to change.

In the 1880's in England, a boy was walking down a hill when he was startled by shouts coming from a side street. As he stopped, around the corner came a gang of men carrying a rough wooden coffin. One of the men slipped, the others staggered, and the coffin dropped to the ground with a thud. Whereupon the men broke out in curses. The boy was appalled. "Can this sort of thing be permitted just because the man whose corpse they are carrying to the grave was poor and friendless?" These were his thoughts, and this was the beginning of a lifelong dedication to the cause of the poor and wretched.

The boy was Anthony Ashley Cooper, eldest [...]

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