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Sermon 12/9/18

Where are my to-do-listers and planners in the congregation?

This is my 2019 Passion Planner (thanks to Marsha for introducing me to them). I already have dates and events and ideas for 2019 written in it. I’m making plans and preparing for 2019. How many of you think it will go exactly as I plan?

Similarly, Kelsi and Sue and Allen made wonderful plans for this morning’s Christmas pageant. How many of you think that will go exactly as planned?

Preparing for an event that we know is coming or even preparing for something that may happen is wise. Knowing and accepting that the event may not go exactly as planned is even wiser.

Some events get completely flipped on the head as far as expectations v. reality.

In our Scripture today, John the Baptist is trying to prepare the people for the Savior’s arrival, for Jesus’ birth. He was bringing to people’s attention the need to stop their injustices and hatred, preparing them to hear Jesus’ message of justice and love.

Leaning on the wise words from Isaiah, the prophet, we can gather that this arrival will be nothing like what we expect or plan for.

Every valley filled, and every mountain and hill made low,    and the crooked made straight, the rough made smooth.

Jesus, the Messiah expected to reign in power, came not as a king but as a baby.

Nothing like what was expected or planned for.

Likewise, when we start on our own journeys of faith, when we start following this Christ-child, we have our plans and our expectations. We have plans for understanding everything in the Bible. We have plans for always feeling God’s presence. We have plans for always being brave to stand up for what we know God supports. We have plans to always know what God supports.

And then life happens, and what we thought were our straight paths in our understanding of faith were actually crooked. What we thought was smooth is actually rough.

I hope that, not only for our Advent season this year, but also for our spiritual journeys throughout the year, that we find peace in knowing that our lives don’t have to be perfectly straight or smooth in order to be Christ followers. I hope we find peace in the ways that Jesus’ teachings uproot our plans, and we can be prepared to be unprepared. I pray that we allow and see the goodness in Jesus bringing changed plans to our lives.

Scripture: Luke 3:1-6

*Today's message was shorter due to the Christmas pageant. Please view the festivities on our Facebook livestream.

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