An Unexpected Messenger (Advent 2, Year C)


Luke 3:1-6

Opening Activity:

You can start this talk with a game. You’ll need a box of Christmas themed dressing up stuff (Santa hats, Santa beards, red noses, antlers, scarves, carrots etc – two lots of each) most of which you’ll be able to find in pound shops or borrow from somewhere else. The more things you can get hold of the more fun it will be.

Ask for four volunteers . Split them into two pairs, half of the congregation cheers for each pair.

Show the pairs a card with one Christmas related character on it (for example: a snowman). They must then dress up one of the pair as quickly as possible to look like that character whilst the congregation try to guess who/what they are. You can repeat this four or five times with different characters (Father Christmas, Christmas Elf, Carol Singer etc).

Once everyone has sat down, describe one final character. Ask people to write down their answer as a table as soon as they’ve guessed it but not to shout it out:

  • A scruffy beard
  • Roughly made clothes
  • Eats honey
  • And locusts too
  • Famous for dunking people in a river.

Ask for their answers and then have someone read the passage out.

Talking Points:

These are ideas and suggestions designed to help you to prepare your own talk rather than a script to use word for word.

  • John was an unusual man – he was living out in the wilderness wearing camel hair clothes and eating wild honey and locusts. Even to the people of his time he will have seemed a little odd but he definitely seems out of place to us. What on earth has he got to do with Advent?
  • John went around baptising people, explaining to them that they needed to turn from their sinful ways and get ready because someone important is on the way. When do we feel the need to prepare for people’s arrival? When someone important is coming? When we have guests coming round for dinner and we want everywhere to look nice? Perhaps when a parent announces that they’re coming upstairs to check our room we suddenly have to spring into action and tidy up?
  • So what will happen when the person that John promised arrives? John (and the prophet Isaiah) put it like this “Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways made smooth. And all people will see God’s salvation” and in Luke’s gospel, at the very moment that Jesus enters the world, the angels put it like this: “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
  • Key Point: In Advent we are reminded of the opportunity to mend our relationship with God, making peace with him, turning from our old lives and stepping into the new life that comes through Jesus the one who John’s message was all about.

This talk is followed by the stations: “To Do List