“Baptized Into His Death” Romans 6:3-11

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We struggle with this idea of baptism and death going together, because we don’t think dying can be something positive. We don’t think dying can be a gift. But there are parts of us, and powers alive in this world, that need to die. That must die, if we are ever to fully know love and grace and community and freedom.

“The King of Justice” Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14

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Our Psalm for today is a challenging one. It is a reality check for us, following the great comfort and hope and good news of Christ’s birth. It is a reminder that God has come into our world, but not any God, not a God of our own choosing or making. But the God of justice, the God of the poor and oppressed, the God who chooses the forgotten. And it is a reminder that God calls and challenges us to do the same, in every part of our lives, in every part of our world.

“Good News for Snakes Like Us” Luke 3:7-18

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John is reminding us today that Christmas is not just for those inside of churches today. It is not just for those who sing the loudest to Christmas songs or wear the brightest Christmas sweaters or put out the most Christmas lights. It’s not just for the cheery people who seem to have everything going well. Christmas is for snakes. It is for those who have been left out. Those who others call scary. Those who think they have made too big of mistakes that no one can forgive.