Today’s Passage: Luke 3:7-18
Opening Prayer: I do not know anyone who wants to be told what to do. Nor do I know anyone that wants to be reminded that there are consequences to actions taken or to decisions that have been made. Scripture, however, tells us that “the ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire” [Luke 3:9 NIV]. Father God, may we see the needs of other people. May we be sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit when He tells us to step up and out to assist someone. May we see our excess and discover ways to give. Encourage us. Lift us up as we faithfully shine, like a bright light and a sign of hope, into someone’s darkness. In Jesus’ name, I pray.
Opening Song: My Own Little World – Matthew West
Message [used with permission from A Sermon for Every Sunday]: Rev. Ryan Ahlgrim is Pastor of First Mennonite Church in Richmond, Virginia. He begins this week’s sermon from Luke 3:7-18 by taking an inventory of his coat collection. “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none,” says John the Baptist. But Ryan Ahlgrim has at least ten coats in his closet. Should he give away nine? Five? Three? Later in the sermon Ahlgrim asks, “How does John the Baptist tell us to prepare for the Messiah?” He says that the answer is “to share all the extra you have with those who don’t have.” What would that look like in a multi-coat society? What would it look like for you?
Closing Song: Do Something – Matthew West
Closing Prayer: Father God, is it time for us to do something? Show us what we can do without and what we could give away to someone in need. May You show us a way to share in more meaningful ways over the holidays. May we choose to respond and may we experience true joy in giving. May we always remember what is important and strive for the day when all will say… “everybody has enough”. Amen.