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Read Matthew 3:1-6.
John wore a garment of camel's hair and a leather belt around
his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Matthew 3:4

I grew up thinking our living room was the natural place for a
Christmas tree. But after I had grown up it finally dawned on me --
 a tree is not supposed to be sitting right in the middle of your
living room! It's totally out of place there! Trees belong outside
in the yard! In fact, in recent years we decorated one evergreen
tree in our front yard with lights, ornaments, and bows. The tree
belongs outside -- where it can live and grow year round. Cutting
a tree down and setting it up inside a house is an out of place
location for a tree.

That phrase "out of place" fit John the Baptist perfectly. John
wore different clothing from everyone else, and he ate very
different food from everyone else, and he lived in a very different
place than everyone else. Why? Because John was the prophet
God sent to prepare the way for His Son. His message was
repent! In other words, reverse the direction of your life because
the Kingdom of God is at hand.

We too must recognize how often we are going the wrong way
in life because of our sinful nature. We often see it pretty clearly
in our broken family relationships, our strained friendships, and
our divided congregations. Just like an evergreen tree that is cut
down and then propped up in a living room and decorated, we
are all dying.

John came to show us why we need a Savior. So John dressed
differently, and he preached out in the wilderness. And if you
wanted to hear what God had to say to you through John, you
had to go out of place too. You had to join him in the wilderness.
His location teaches us to leave our old way of thinking and our
old way of life to meet and travel together with our humble King.

Just as John the Baptist left his home in the hill country of Judea
to live in the wilderness, Jesus left His heavenly throne and lived
among us. The glorious Son of God, Creator of all, became a
human baby and lived out His earthly life among us in poverty and
want. He was rejected, suffered, and died that we might find
peace and forgiveness. Jesus was out of place on earth so that
you and I would be made right for heaven, His home.


Lord Jesus, thank You for going out of place for us when You left
Your home in heaven to live with us here on earth. Through Your
sacrifice and death in our place, we are forgiven all our sins and
inherit eternal life. Move us to leave our sinful lives and walk with
You on the road to heaven. We pray this in Your Name. Amen

(Lutheran Hour Ministries)

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