Watch, Listen, & Believe 12-10-2017

Let me to take you on a little journey to a Big, Busy, Shopping
Mall. Let me introduce to you someone.
He caused quite a commotion among the shoppers at the mall.
Many dismissed him as annoying nut. He was dressed in a tattered
flannel shirt and jeans. No one knew where he spent the night, but he
was seen rummaging around the dumpsters for scraps of food from
Orange Julius and McDonald’s. Every day he could be found by the
beautifully lighted fountain near the mall’s food court. Despite his
ragged appearance and that slightly “off” look in his eyes, there was a
kindness and sincerity about him that drew people to him.
He would ask them why they would spend so much money for
Christmas, why they would allow themselves to become so obsessed and
stressed out over this tinseled holiday. “We like our Christmas with a lot
of sugar, don’t we?” he would tease. But Christmas is about hope and
love, he said – and that can be a struggle. Give gifts of kindness and
compassion to each other. Seek forgiveness from family and friends
who may be lost to you. Let the spirit of the Christ Child embrace every
season of the year, not just December.
Those who listened would nod in agreement as he spoke – even as
they tightened their grips on their shopping bags. Some were moved to
quit shopping and go home to be with their families, others would go off
and buy an extra toy or piece of clothing for charity; a few would even
be moved to escape to a church or chapel for quiet prayer.
Sometimes he would rail against the insipid music and the gaudy
decorations. When the mall Santa would walk by, he would make fun of
him, asking the embarrassed Santa pointed questions about the real
Christmas story.
Soon, though, the storeowners had had enough of his distractions.
The mall managers had security escort him from the premises.
He wasn’t really hurting anyone, they realized.
But he had to go, they said.
He was ruining everyone’s Christmas.
“He Had to Go”. John the Baptists 2016. They come in all ages,
sizes, shapes, colors, sexes and backgrounds. What do they do? They
tease, they challenge, they poke us, and they point us to Jesus. To Jesus’
way of life.
Pray with me today, Advent 2016, that we will not be blind to the
John the Baptists that come into our daily lives. Believe me – they will
come. Watch, Listen, and Believe.

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