A long, long time ago (in a galaxy not so far away), there was a society of people looking for hope. These people had been ostracized, alienated, and persecuted by others — including their own government. But their hope for a better world allowed them to keep going in spite of the trials and tribulations they were facing. During this time, a prophet shared these words:
“‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;
he will do what is just and right in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved
and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior.'” (Jeremiah 33:14-16).
As we prepare for Christmas today, we make hurry to find the perfect gift and make plans to host the perfect gatherings. But Christmas is a time each year that we remember the great hope that is found in Jesus Christ — who was God with us! And all around us (and perhaps even within us), there are many people who are still looking for hope in the midst of their sorrow.
Every year, it seems our ordinary Christmas only adds additional stress. This Sunday, we will begin a new Advent series called No Ordinary Christmas that will explore how we can experience the hope and joy of Christmas as we celebrate God with us. I want to invite you and encourage you to be with us in worship through this series as we celebrate Advent and Christmas together.I once heard it said “the local church is the hope of the world” because we GET to offer Jesus to the world. Let’s be the hope of the world and bring hope to the hopeless this Christmas. Have a great weekend and I look forward to being with you in worship at 8:45 and 11:00 this Sunday!
Grace and peace,
P.S. This Sunday, our Joyful Ringers will be leading us in music at the 11:00 worship service. Hand bells are beautiful instruments and a wonderful way to help us prepare for the Christmas season. If you would like to “hear the bells” this Christmas season, be sure to join us on Sunday morning at 11:00 in the Sanctuary.