Whether you have found yourself in a role similar to the religious elite, addicted to lure of power and ‘rightness,’ or you have found yourself in the shoes of the condemned, addicted to sinful joys, like that of physical desire, Jesus says you are given new life and a new hope in the love of God.
Jesus, when telling the parable of the Bridesmaids, doesn’t seem to draw attention to the fact that some had less oil and some had more. He says we need to be prepared to see the dangers that may lie around us.
As we begin this series, know that the forgiveness God provides is not something that invites us to judge the lack of forgiveness exhibited by others, but something that frees us for more faithful living.
The service centers around the Covenant Prayer, which invites you to offer you commitment to God. We are using this service today, the first day of the New Year, as an invitation to set the foundation for your 2017 through a covenant to live this year in the love of God.
What makes Charlie Brown Christmas good enough that we would be willing to use it as the foundation for the message about the gift of Christ on Christmas Eve? It connects with our brokenness, our wandering, and our hope for the light of Christ.
George Bailey was struggling with failed plans and great pain, and he found himself on the brink of giving in to the darkness. Nevertheless, God showed him the hope of new life.
There are certain things that are undeniable. In this season of Advent, you are invited to prepare your heart, to offer your hope and trust, to belief like that a child, in the undeniable love of God.
The Grinch, in acknowledging the purpose and meaning of the birth of light into the darkness, went through a transformation. We are called into that season of transformation as we prepare for Christ’s birth too.
To help bring in the new year of the church, in a time when we focus on preparing our lives to welcome once more the birth of Christ, we are going to spend some time digging in to pop culture to find a word of promise – even hidden as it may be – that does not skip out on the hope of the scriptural texts that guide our path to the manger on Christmas Eve.
We sit in wonder of the same things as the people of Israel who were scattered in exile: for truly as a people – as a nation and as a community – we are broken and we are yearning for a new promise of hope.