Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

from The Dance of Life by Henri Nouwen (2005)

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The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people.

Luke 3:15-18

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In today’s scripture, John gathers the crowd to prepare the way for the Lord. John did not wait for other people to share the news for him or for the crowds to come to him. He left his area of comfort to proclaim. He called upon everyone to stop hoarding food. He fussed at people for not sharing their clothes. He called on them to share their excess – all of it, not just the leftovers. He called on people to leave their places of comfort and to follow the One who is greater than he.

John’s declarations didn’t end there, however, for each time we encounter John the Baptizer, he is still calling us to act. He still calls us to empty our pantries and our closets. He calls us to share not from our leftovers but to share as if giving to Jesus.

How can we share the Gospel with our lives? What are willing to give up? How uncomfortable are we willing to get to share the Good News?

Becky Caswell-Speight

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God, help me to listen to John’s challenging words. Help me to be uncomfortable so that I will share all that I am with your world. May my sharing make this world more loving, as you created it to be. Amen.

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Go now.

Move from a place of hiding.

Seek kindness and there you will find the face of God in every person you meet.

Becky Caswell-Speight

Becky Caswell-Speight is Minister to Families at Smoke Rise Baptist Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia, where she lives with her husband Josh and their two girls Ainsley and Evelyn.

Advent Waiting: Wexford Carol – O Come Little Children

David Burroughs

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