DECEMBER 8, 2019

8:00AM & 10:30AM
PREACHING: Rev. Lora East
Making His List, Checking It Twice

Isaiah 11:1-10 & Matthew 3:1-12




Have you been naughty or nice this year? Is Santa bringing you gifts or coal? What if John the Baptist had a list? Who would be on his naughty or nice list? As we heed John’s words to repent and prepare, to confess and to make way for the Christ child to be born, we all have some introspection and preparation to do. In this season of waiting and expectation, John invites us to take a long, hard look at ourselves. What is bearing fruit in your life, and what is chaff that needs to be discarded? It is unwise, as John says, to presume that we are above the process, that we don’t need to do any reflection or preparation. Becoming the manger, the vessel that holds Christ, keeping him warm and showing him to the world is an act of choice, an act of will, an act of faith, and an act of great love. Let us all prepare and make way not only for Christ to be born, but for us to become the manger into which he comes, that we can carry God’s love out into the world.


1.       As you read the Matthew passage, consider all the various characters. With whom do you identify? Do you see yourself as a follower of John? As a part of the religious elite? As a rebel, or a seeker? Perhaps parts of each resonate.

2.       Reflect on this past year. Where are the areas deserving of repentance? Of what are you most proud? Which relationships are strong, and which need repair?

3.       What does it mean to become God’s manger? In your heart, in your life, in our community, in the world?

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Rev. Dave Carpenter, Pastor
Rev. Lora East,
Associate Pastor