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A 'Yes'! Face

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

Keywords

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said that it is not so important where a person stands as the direction in which he is moving. That sounds like something John the Baptist might have told his people as he announced the coming of Jesus Christ. In today's Gospel Lesson, Matthew tells us that "when John the Baptizer made his appearance as a preacher in the desert of Judea, this was his theme:

Reform your lives! The reign of God is at hand"
(Mt. 12:1-2).

"Reform your lives." That means "change your lives." There was a popular song in the thirties which said,

There'll be a change in the weather, a change in the sea. There's even gonna be a change in me.
My walk will be different, my talk and my name.
Nothing about me's gonna be the same.
I'm gonna change my way of living and if that ain't enough,
I'll even change the way I strut my stuff.

If Jesus had come in the late 1930's that lyric could have been John the Baptist's theme song. Wherever you may be standing in your attitude and approach to life is not important now. What is important is that Jesus Christ is in your midst calling you to change the way you "strut your stuff." If you want to follow Him, then prepare to begin moving in a whole new direction. That is the message we receive from John the Baptist, from Jesus Himself, and from all the New Testament writers. Unfortunately, it is often misunderstood. To get the message right we may need reminding that God loves us so much that His Love is unconditional. God is God, and God doesn't change. We don't earn His Love. We don't buy His Love. It is a "given" in our life. But we are free to accept it or reject it. We are free to pursue a self-centered attitude and approach to life which blocks the flow of God's Love within us, or a God-centered attitude and approach which releases the flow of God's love within us. Consequently, we do not need [...]

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