*ZOOM WORSHIP SERVICE LINK*
As part of our First Advent worship service we enjoyed a zoom service with candle lighting, scripture reading, and a children's moment. Feel free to watch that here...
On the Road...
This year’s Advent theme, “On the Road . . . ,” conveys a sense of movement, of traveling from one point to another. In the story of the magi from the East, they literally took to the road and drew closer to Jesus with each passing step. This rich imagery sets the tone for the Advent season as we seek to move closer to Jesus, wherever we might find ourselves along the road of faith.
Our message this morning is about what readiness looks like? How we prepare ourselves to receive the One sent to save us?
“But in those days, following that distress, “‘the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’ “At that time people will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens.
“Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch."
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”
Litany of Response:
Leader: Is there any hope for us? Can we be saved?
People: All of us are unclean. Our righteous acts are like filthy rags.
Leader: Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; Do not remember our sins forever. Look upon us, we pray.
People: O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. We are all the work of your hand.
Leader: Forgive our sins.
All: No ear has heard, no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him. Mold us and make us into vessels you can use. Restore us, O God. Make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved.
Questions for Reflection/Discussion
1. The big idea of this message was that we watch and be alert so that we are ready when Jesus comes. How do you interpret that big idea in your life? What does it mean for you to be 'ready' for Jesus when He comes?
2. "Many things seek to lull us to sleep in our social, spiritual, and relational lives." What are some of those things that you observe in our culture? What is one thing that seeks to lull you to sleep spiritually?
3. "Readiness is also about a desire for God, a heart cry for God at our level or in our circumstances—here, not distant." How can you begin to ready yourself for God to meet you in your circumstances this season? You might begin with a simple prayer even now.