Father Mark, Sermons

Spiritual Recycling

Advent 3:  John 1; 12/13/20

We’ve been into recycling in town the last couple of months and I am wondering how it is going for the town.  I’m wondering what you’ve heard and how it’s going for you? 

We enjoy it because we’re able to recycle more and it saves us a trip to The Green Guy in San Marcos. 

Occasionally we’ve heard of strikes by sanitation workers where trash wasn’t picked up for weeks leaving piles of trash laying all over the roadways.  Imagine if there was a strike for a month and trash began to build up in streets, yards and highways.  Imagine piles of trash strewn along 183.  Back in the time of John the Baptist, before the days of recycling and trash pickup, people didn’t know much of what to do with it all.  Trash was just strewn across country roads.  After a few years the roads in some places were nigh impassible.  So it was customary when a special dignitary was coming to prepare by having a large roadside cleanup. 

John was keen enough to see the metaphor in connecting repentance to clearing out the trash. 

When we get too much trash in an area, it inhibits our ability to live.  We cannot move freely about.  To play with the metaphor some more, aren’t there times when we just feel trashy?  

There’s just stuff in our minds and in our hearts that just give us the blahs and we just don’t fire on all cylinders.  Life throws us too many curves and we find ourselves out of mental and spiritual balance. Sometimes there’s too much fear.  Fatigue.  Anger or resentment takes its toll on our performance.  Self-preoccupation can create a situation I saw on line where someone driving a car was angry with someone on a sidewalk and they ran their car into a light pole, turning his car, the pole and his driving record into trash.

John asks us to do a state inspection—an inspection of the state we’re in.  To find the trash that’s been piled within and to bring it to the Jordan River and give it to God.  After all, someone is coming that we don’t want to miss. A hindered road to meet him whether that road is internal or external need not prevent us from meeting him—receiving him and allowing him to grow in our hearts for another year.