The advent season can be a challenging time for those wishing to slow down, to reflect and to wait. I am stating the obvious when I say that the reality of the incarnational love of God becoming real in the birth of Jesus can often times get lost in the many Christmas or holiday happenings of these days. Last Sunday we talked about the unexpected ways in which God enters into our world and our lives. I certainly hope and pray that you are able to reflect upon and think deeply about what it means for God's love to have come and entered our lives in the person of Jesus. God's desire and longing is that we would experience a oneness and connection with Him that enables us to live and experience life differently.
This Sunday we will continue to consider the messengers [“angels!”] that God sends to us as we explore how we can (in faith and faithfulness) respond to God’s invitation to play a part in the story of His love that works in our world.
I will look forward to worshipping with you all this Sunday.
Grace & Peace,
This week's worship information:
Sermon Series: evANGEL
This weeks message: Plan B
Scripture [first text is the focus of the sermon.]:
Questions for Reflection:
How has God worked through your own life in unexpected ways?
What responses do you have when things don’t go according to the plans you have made?
Think through some ways you might make yourself available to God’s plan during this advent season.
Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfil what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
‘Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel’,
which means, ‘God is with us.’ When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son; and he named him Jesus.
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.
A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’