Bringing the Text to Life
[NOTE: The first part of this approach to the text is a narrative, storytelling device. Adapt names and locations to suit your particular situation. Get in character as a harried and worried passenger about to board a flight to Chicago. Later, you will drop out of character to wrap up the point you want to drive home to your congregation.]
It's two days before Christmas in New England. A drizzle slickens the street on your commute home. Falling temperatures threaten freezing road conditions. But you have airline tickets and an obligation. You and your family are on your way to Hays, Kansas, via Chicago.
Once home, you eat, you pack, you load your family into the SUV for the fast, stressful drive from the Boston burbs through bumper-to-bumper holiday traffic back into the city on the Mass Pike.
All that "love" stuff you heard in church from Paul's letter to the Romans about "love does no wrong to a neighbor" (13:10) is nearly chucked out the window in this pre-Christmas traffic jam...