John the Baptizer ruins our idyllic Christmas every darn year.

With his breath smelling like locusts and honey.

With his scraggly beard and hair-suit.

With his name-calling and bombastic personality.

He's out of place with Mary serenely kneeling next to a quite baby Jesus.  He looks downright wild next to gentle Joseph, leaning on his staff.  He doesn't even match the shepherds, probably his closest vocational cousin, because all of those Nativity set shepherds are young, beardless, and have sheep over their shoulders.

John the Baptizer just doesn't fit in with this whole scene, and yet here he is this Sunday, proclaiming that the Messiah will make geographical changes that will knock our socks off.

"The Messiah will flatten mountains, fill in valleys, make winding roads straight and rocky roads smooth," he shouts.

But we can barely hear him over Bing Crosby crooning...which is why he shouts.

Oh, if you wonder what this week's Gospel reading is, you can find it in Luke 3:1-6.

Go ahead and read it, I'll wait.

Certainly John the Baptizer feels out of place in our Christmas preparation.  We'd rather have cookie bake-offs and candelight adorn our silent nights in these days.

But that's not what we get.  We get mountains made low and valleys filled in and a wild man standing outside our manger plays calling us from our sweet delusions and into the real world.  Read more.

John the Baptizer ruins our idyllic Christmas every darn year.

With his breath smelling like locusts and honey.

With his scraggly beard and hair-suit.

With his name-calling and bombastic personality.

He's out of place with Mary serenely kneeling next to a quite baby Jesus.  He looks downright wild next to gentle Joseph, leaning on his staff.  He doesn't even match the shepherds, probably his closest vocational cousin, because all of those Nativity set shepherds are young, beardless, and have sheep over their shoulders.

John the Baptizer just doesn't fit in with this whole scene, and yet here he is this Sunday, proclaiming that the Messiah will make geographical changes that will knock our socks off.

"The Messiah will flatten mountains, fill in valleys, make winding roads straight and rocky roads smooth," he shouts.

But we can barely hear him over Bing Crosby crooning...which is why he shouts.

Oh, if you wonder what this week's Gospel reading is, you can find it in Luke 3:1-6.

Go ahead and read it, I'll wait.

Certainly John the Baptizer feels out of place in our Christmas preparation.  We'd rather have cookie bake-offs and candelight adorn our silent nights in these days.

But that's not what we get.  We get mountains made low and valleys filled in and a wild man standing outside our manger plays calling us from our sweet delusions and into the real world.


This Sunday's Readings
Malachi 3:1-4
Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

Bring in Your Magi Tree Gifts this Sunday! With the threat of inclement weather, however, gifts may be dropped off at the church as late as Tuesday, December 11.

This Sunday is the final day to honor the season with a gift of poinsettias, greenery and special music to bless our Christmas celebration. If you want to order a poinsettia, complete the form in the bulletin insert or contact the church office.

With the threat of inclement weather, a decision will be made on Saturday evening regarding Sunday morning worship and SME. If changes are made to the worship schedule, they will be posted on WRAL and Good Shepherd's website.

Christmas Coffeehouse Shared Dinner is tonight, 6:30-8:30 pm - Christmas comes early at Good Shepherd for over 250 guests at our Coffeehouse Shared Dinner. Tables will be set, buffet tables will overflow, and there will be a festive sing-along of favorite Christmas carols. With an event of this magnitude, we need volunteers to provide food, set up, serve during dinner, and more. Learn more and sign up  here .

Bible Study with Pastors - Tuesdays, December 11 & 18, 9:30 am, Underwood West - Join us for a study of the nativity stories of the Bible.

Mid-Week Advent Vespers - Wednesdays through December 19, 7:00 pm -  Each Wednesday in Advent, join us for Holden Evening Prayer followed by a time of gathering and refreshments.

Bluegrass Christmas at Sola Coffee Cafe - Thursday, December 13 at 7:00 pm - Join Good Shepherd's bluegrass band, Break Even, for an evening of Advent and Christmas songs!

Sunday Morning Education: Refugee Circle of Welcome - Sunday, December 16, 9:30-10:30 am, Sanctuary Learn from Adrienne Morton of Lutheran Services Carolinas about the pathway to resettlement for people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape persecution, war, or violence. 

Gingerbread House Decorating - Sunday, December 16, 1:00-2:00 pm, Fellowship Hall - Children of all ages will not want to miss this sweet fun! Parents, grandparents and older siblings of elementary school age children are encouraged to stay and build memories together.  Note: We are looking for youth and adult helpers to build the gingerbread houses on Friday, December 14, 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Contact Barb Newcomer if you can help.

More information about upcoming events is available in  this week's  
Health and Healing for  Rachel Baumann, Mary Franck's mother; Nicole Barefoot; Cliff Wilcoxen; and John Maher, family of Lois Walker

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Robert Mpofu and Mutokozisi Sigono.

Robert  is 22 and had been living with Dean Sibanda, helping around the home.  His reading skills had limited his educational path.  We have been informed that Robert left Dean's home, possibly being lured by the gold panning craze in that area of Zimbabwe.  He is 1 of 6 siblings in the GSLC program.  We continue to hold him in our prayers.  His Mail For Mnene partner is Katherine Hrivnak.
 
Mutho, 21, is 1 of 5 siblings in the GSLC support program.  He was to attend vocational school to study motor mechanics but did not attend classes.  Mnene staff will look in to other options for him.  Three of his siblings are doing well in post-secondary education. His Mail For Mnene partner is the Lavery family.

 
Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.
STAY CONNECTED
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   View on Instagram