Loving One Another

Posts tagged ‘John the Baptist’

The Cost of Christmas


Sermon notes – Dec. 16, 2017 – Rev. Jean Johnson – Madison Valley Presbyterian, Ennis, MT

Recorded by Jan Beekman – in poetry (as is my habit) – while listening intently today.

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The Cost of Christmas

Ebenezer Scrooge was transformed.
He hated Christmas and all
That talk of love and peace.
His dream helped him hear God’s call.

He bought a goose and invited
All to come to his feast.
He had love and joy to spread
To rich and poor, the most and the least.

It cost Scrooge a fortune
To pay for all that food.
What does Christmas cost you?
Does the cost put you in a Scrooge mood?

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John the Baptist warned us that
Christmas will cost a lot.
But it’s not the money he referred to;
It’s the deliverance we may not have sought.

Purifying fire and judgement wait
For those who fail to believe.
The fire is a punishment for those
Who are stingy and cause others to grieve.

If you have two shirts or coats,
Be ready to give one away.
If someone owes you money,
Don’t overcharge them any day.

Jesus taught people to love and forgive.
“Get ready for the Christ Child.
Give from your surplus,” John preached.
He didn’t ask us to do anything wild.

Jesus’ message was a tough one
For many who held hate in their heart.
John asked folks to prepare for Christ
By repenting, turning, making a clean start.

Be on the true path, headed right
As you prepare for Jesus Christ’s birth.
You’re on the right road in church today.
Let’s be God’s witnesses on earth.

Are you?
Am I?
Let your life preach His message,
And as Mother Theresa is quoted as saying,
“Only use words when you have to!”

(Isn’t that a heck of a message for a blogger?)

 

Prophets – Bah Humbug!


If you’ve been following my blog awhile, you know I take notes in poetry as I listen to the sermon in church on Sundays.

white house on green grass and green mountain

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If you’re new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following. You help me know with your “likes” and comments that I am not just writing into cyberspace. There are real people out there – my blogging “friends” – who may be touched, encouraged, tickled, or illuminated by my posts. If I help you somehow along this rugged path of life to step a little lighter, see a little brighter, or love each other “righter”, then I have accomplished my purpose.

Here are the notes reflecting the message I gathered from yesterday’s sermon. After the service, I told Rev. Jean Johnson, our pastor at Madison Valley Presbyterian, “Your message spoke to me. I think I’ll blog this one.”

So, here it is:

Prophets – Bah Humbug!

Who needs a prophet?
They are annoying, I think.
At best, they are pests.
At worst, they stink!

Tell ’em to take
Their soapboxes away
To some other place.
They harp doom everyday.

Isn’t it enough to try
To be good to each other?
Isn’t it enough
To love sister and brother?

Here we are this Advent
Being called to goodness and hope.
John the Baptist says we
Need baptism and repentance to cope.

He persists in saying
Mountains must be flat.
Paths must be made straight.
Who needs all that?

We like our high mountains.
We like crooked paths, too.
Who needs these prophets?
Do they annoy you?

Well, to be honest, I must
Tell you these truthtellers
Are important to us.
They’re really not such bad fellers!

They call us to be humble.
They show us the Christ-like way.
They remind us of past errors
And guide us to a better way.

Prophets help us discover
How love is better than hate.
They show us what really matters.
Heed them. Invite them in. It’s a date!

Be the love to the loveless.
Don’t worry and think you’re too small.
Listen to the wisdom of the prophets.
Their message is good for us all.

Let God’s light shine through you.
Be the prophetic face of love.
Go out and BE a prophet.
Share the message from God above.

Amen?

 

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