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Summary: A sermonf or the 3rd Sunday in Advent Series C John the Baptist talking about loving one another

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3rd Sunday of Advent

Luke 3:7-18

"The Signs of God in Our World"

7 He said therefore to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bear fruits that befit repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ’We have Abraham as our father’; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.

9 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

10 And the multitudes asked him, "What then shall we do?"

11 And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."

12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"

13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you."

14 Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."

15 ¶ As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ,

16 John answered them all, "I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.

17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

18 So, with many other exhortations, he preached good news to the people.RSV

Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

Last week we heard from John the Baptist about repentance. He called us to repentance so that we may greet the Babe born in the manger.

But this week, John takes that message one step further. He says we are to love one another as we await the Babe born in the manger.

He says: 10 And the multitudes asked him, "What then shall we do?"

11 And he answered them, "He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise."

12 Tax collectors also came to be baptized, and said to him, "Teacher, what shall we do?"

13 And he said to them, "Collect no more than is appointed you."

14 Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what shall we do?" And he said to them, "Rob no one by violence or by false accusation, and be content with your wages."

We are to be the sings of God’s love in this world as we await the ultimate sign of God’s love, the Babe born in the manger.

Let me demonstrate with the following: "The mall was shoppers. They were it seemed racing every which way in the halls and stores. Cashiers struggled to stay ahead of the growing lines of impatient customers. Amid the havoc, nobody noticed that an elderly woman had dropped her packages near an exit door and was having a rough time getting then together. Nobody, that is except a plain looking teenage boy who came over, wordlessly reassembled her purchases, and then lifted the packages in his lanky arms saying, "I can get them to your car."

"Thanks" she answered in a loud voice and winked. The boy smiled. Nobody saw them as they headed out the exit, but in a crowded shopping mall something very good had happened."

That teenage boy was a "Christ-figure" to that elderly woman. That teenage boy was a sign of God’s love for that elderly woman amid all the rush of shopping. That teenage boy was salvation for that woman in that circumstance of dropped packages. That teenage boy was for that woman a very dramatic sign of God’s love for her as the Christmas event is a very dramatic sign of God’s love for the entire world. That is what I mean by God’s love present in signs today. Only we don’t see those events as signs of God’s love, but we should.

This morning we are going to look at God’s signs of love in our world, how God keeps repeating the Christmas event even today with his signs of love.

One of my favorite television programs is Any Day Now. It is a story about two girls growing up in the deep south. One is white the other black. They met in a grocery story as Mary Elizabeth, or ME, as her friend calls her, is stealing a pack of cigarettes. Renae makes the shop keeper turn away as ME takes the pack of cigarettes and runs out of the store. They run to an old railroad caboose car, Port Dixie, and from then on their friendship grows.

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