Sermon Introduction –
In our readings, both John the Baptist and Paul create a sense of anticipation…a need for change and repentance and hope for guidance from the Spirit as we live out our faith in anticipation of His return. They are both truth tellers and hope merchants we can learn from.
Introduction to our readings
Forerunners and messengers advance the advent of our God. While John the baptizer’s voice in the wilderness may be the principal focus of the day, Malachi’s prophecy could as easily herald the coming Lord Jesus as forerunner of the Lord of hosts. Finally all the baptized are called to participate in the sharing of the gospel. In so doing we prepare the way for the coming of the Lord and assist all flesh in capturing a vision of the “salvation of God.”
Reading: Philippians 1:3-11
Introduction : The apostle Paul was the pastor of many new churches. He writes in this letter about his joy to be in partnership with the Christians of Philippi. Listen to how tender-hearted Paul, sometimes a stern preacher, is with his friends as he encourages them to grow in love and knowledge.
Reading: Luke 3:1-6
Introduction: John the Baptist is a herald of the saving Lord, whose way is prepared by “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” As we hear the careful record of human leaders, we sense the spectrum of political and religious authority that will be challenged by this coming Lord