Wrong Directions

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As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. Matthew 3:16 NIV

Wrong Directions

ARTIFACT • DOVE

SESSION ONE

Sitting at the dinner table, not a drop of saliva formed in my mouth. In fact, each and every one of my taste buds where picketing, on strike due to poor working conditions. It was the last day of October, and there was only a handful of things on my mind. First, I was really excited to put on my homemade costume. I had spent hours gluing the fine details. I was going to be the best life-sized Cheerios box on the block, probably the only one. Second, I knew my next door neighbor was outside waiting. We all had to walk through the neighborhood together that night, the only night of the year it is socially acceptable to form hundreds of street gangs to wander in and out of people’s front yards. Third, I already had a goodie bag full of confectionary heaven at school that day, seeking to prove it is possible to live on a steady diet of fructose and glucose. My mother held a different position. Mainly, one of a large wooden spoon with capacity to both stir the split pea soup and correct a squirrelly seven year old.

I WANTED TO HAVE IT MY WAY.

I had seen the commercials. “Hold the pickles, hold the onion, you can have it your way.” I know my mom had seen them too. The message was simple to understand, “Life can be the way you want it.” Mom’s message sounded different, “Stop trying to leave, it’s the wrong direction. Turn around and sit down, because your soup is over here.” It reminds me of a message John the Baptist gave. It wasn’t very complicated, but like a bunch of kids running after sucrose, most of the world didn’t get it.

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’ ”
Matthew 3:1-3 NIV

John the Baptist came sharing a way different message. Literally, “Stop going that direction, it’s the wrong way. Turn around and go this direction, because your God is over here.” Heaven has come near, so stop heading the wrong direction, and turn towards Jesus today. Your God is over here.

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