Time to Make Changes!
By Dr. Carol J Miller
OBJECT: A picture of John the Baptist
Google “ San Juan Bautista el Greco” for a picture of John
God sent a man named John to tell the people that a very, very special person—Jesus, God’s own Son, was coming to help those who needed help. John came to the people and started telling them to get ready and to get ready now!
If you have ever seen a picture of John you would see that he was sort of a scary looking person. (We call him John the Baptizer because he baptized so many people). [If you have a picture of John, show it to the children now]. Well, John lived out in the desert, so he probably didn’t take too many baths or get his hair and beard cut. He wore a short leather robe; he ate (weird stuff – did you ever eat something strange? He ate grasshoppers and wild honey!) a kind of grasshopper and wild honey. Did you ever eat a strange kind of food? [Accept all answers]. John really got people’s attention with the way he looked and with his loud, booming voice.
John told the people that God was coming and they would have to stop being selfish; thinking only about themselves and about what they wanted. No, now if they owned two coats and saw someone shivering without a coat, they would have to give that cold person one of their coats. And if anyone had enough food to eat and saw someone who was hungry, they would need to share their food. The tax collectors, who used to cheat the people and make them pay more taxes than they owed, asked what they had to do. John said they must stop cheating people and taking their money.
Everyone got very excited about John; maybe John was the special person that God was sending. John told them “No.” John said that the one who was coming—Jesus—was much greater. John baptized people––he poured water over them as a sign that they were doing what John had told them to do. But when Jesus came, the people would feel God’s love pouring over them. Can you imagine God surrounding you and giving you a big hug and telling you not to be afraid because God is with you? Well, that is sort of what Jesus was going to do! This story just gets better and better!
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan