This is Going to Hurt. You Ready?

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I was a 14 year goal tender, playing with the 16 year olds, and sometimes it was pretty exciting. Once there was a fight behind the goal, and it all happened because the puck should have been blown dead…and wasn’t. Meaning, that there should have been a face-off called by the referee. He didn’t, and when the forwards kept digging for the puck, some vigorous pushing and shoving started that really got tempers flaring. One of my defensemen, after having been pushed harder than he liked, lifted his arms to cast off his gloves, as did his opponent, and the fight was on. They fought no more than 2 feet from me, and they were really pounding on each other, and then for some reason, my big defenseman fell to his knees, the linesmen moved in and the squabble was over. I never knew him to be one to give up a fight, but I quickly saw the reason. Somehow, in the course of delivering and receiving these blows, his little finger on his left hand had become dislocated. It was contorted in a way that was really scary…. nauseatingly so. We were the away team, and we were 90 minutes away from home, on snow-covered roads, and that meant about 90 minutes from a hospital. As it turned out, the coach of the opposing team was a chiropractor, and when he looked at it, he said I think we can adjust that right now, or you can make your way back to the hospital. My defenseman, although carrying himself with the requisite stoicism of an injured hockey player, was beginning to look a little pale. He said simply, “Do it.” The doctor carefully turned his hand over and examined it again very slowly before grasping the finger. He paused then, and looked at his patient and said, “This is going to hurt. You ready?” In our text today, we hear of the introduction of John the Baptist, and of the turmoil that his proclamation was bound to make. Join us for worship this weekend, where we’ll explore how a life of faith seems to run counter to the societal trends and practices, and where calls to change those practices, are bound to cause a stir; indeed, they’re going to hurt. We need to be ready. Are you?