Message relevant in today's world
Michael Hurst attends St Peter's Anglican Church, Torquay St, Kaikoura, and some will know him from his firewood deliveries.
Michael says that he found a recent sermon by the Rev Owen Haring so inspiring that he wanted to share it with the community. It was about John the Baptist, who was born a few months before Jesus and as an adult prepared people for Jesus.
Michael believes John's message is just as important today as it was 2000 years ago, and summarises the sermon below:
"John talked about sharing our wealth with those in need, doing our job fairly, not extorting others and being content with what we have, rather than allowing greed to drive our decisions.
"John was able to make people see that what they were striving for in life was never going to give them what they really wanted, that they were missing something important. He pointed out that their traditions, along with what they believed and put their trust in, would ultimately be their undoing unless they changed their ways.
"John warned his listeners that someone (Jesus) was about to come, who would shake up the world like never before, and that he would remove once and for all the worthless "chaff" that was mesmerising and captivating the world. For those willing to hear and obey, listen and follow, and repent, it would be good news. People would no longer be slaves to amassing wealth simply for themselves, but would be happy to give away their excess. Their lives would be completely changed.
"Today's message is the same, the potential to know God is the same, and the lost state people find themselves in is the same. Greed, jealousy, lust, rage, drunkenness, anxiety, stress - they are all conditions of those who have lost their way in life. And yet there is a real problem challenging people to know for themselves what really is the way, the truth, the life.
"It is not what we do alone, but what we allow Christ to do through us, through our actions, our commitment and our faith, that makes all the difference."
Could this Christmas be the time when you make that really important decision in your life? Michael asks.
"You could start by talking with someone you know and trust, who has already found the way, the truth and the life for themselves."