2021-12-24
Christmas Eve: Finding CHRIST in Our World
Christmas Eve. The preacher brings Luke’s story into the excitement of a family service and later into the reverence of candlelit worship full of people distracted by kids, plans, phones, hopes and griefs. Granted, audiences are always mixed, emotions often high. Yet Christmas Eve heightens the intensity, energy, and disparities gathered in congregations on this night, underlined by every commercial and artistic institution in our culture.
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  • 2021-12-24Christmas Eve: Finding CHRIST in Our World
    2021-12-24
    Christmas Eve: Finding CHRIST in Our World
    Christmas Eve. The preacher brings Luke’s story into the excitement of a family service and later into the reverence of candlelit worship full of people distracted by kids, plans, phones, hopes and griefs. Granted, audiences are always mixed, emotions often high. Yet Christmas Eve heightens the intensity, energy, and disparities gathered in congregations on this night, underlined by every commercial and artistic institution in our culture.
  • 2021-12-19Finding PEACE in Our Struggles
    2021-12-19
    Finding PEACE in Our Struggles
    In Luke’s language, the Greek word translated as “peace” doesn’t only mean tranquility between nations or even friendship among individuals. Another part of the definition is such assurance of salvation as to be content with whatever one’s earthly lot. This kind of peace is a “no matter what falls” peace. In one sense, it’s inner peace whether one gets exactly what is hoped for or a rotten outcome altogether. It’s knowing that you aren’t forgotten. It’s remembering that you are loved. It’s understanding that you can be secure regardless of what is going on around you.
  • 2021-12-12Finding JOY in Our Discouragements
    2021-12-12
    Finding JOY in Our Discouragements
    Happiness is an emotion that can disappear as quickly as it rises to the surface. Joy, however, is a choice. We have a choice. God gives us a joy that is unconquerable. We can choose to live in an attitude of resentment, anger and fear or we can choose to pursue the joy of Christ. So, what is the picture of joy in the Bible? Today Pastor Kevin will answer that question as we celebrate week 3 of Advent.
  • 2021-12-05Finding LOVE in Our Differences
    2021-12-05
    Finding LOVE in Our Differences
    What Is the Candle of Love? Before we dive into this, we should keep in mind, some church traditions vary on which candle goes on which Sunday. Some may light the “love candle” on the second Sunday of Advent instead of the fourth. Others have lit the candle of Peace on the fourth week of Advent instead of the candle of love. With that being said, let’s dive into the symbolism of the love candle. Otherwise known as the Angel candle, this candle can represent purity. Love, plays a vital role in the Christmas story. Because of Joseph’s love for Mary, he didn’t stone her when he found out she was pregnant with what he thought was a child out of wedlock with another man (Matthew 1:18-19). Mary has a natural motherly love for Jesus, and ultimately, we see God’s love for everyone by sending his son for us (John 3:16). Jesus focused on preaching love throughout his ministry. Two of his greatest commands involve love: Love God, love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-40). Love is the greatest of all the virtues on the Advent wreath and encompasses Jesus’ entire purpose for being on earth (1 Corinthians 13:13).
  • 2021-11-28Finding HOPE In Our Uncertainties
    2021-11-28
    Finding HOPE In Our Uncertainties
    Today Pastor Kevin begins a new teaching series which will take us to Christmas Day! The Christmas season is here. It is called Advent. Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning “coming.” Christians began celebrating an advent time of fasting and prayer sometime in the 300s, the period of early church history where Constantine made Christianity legal.  The first Advent candle stands for hope, specifically the hope the Israelites had that the promised Messiah would come.  They had been waiting for the Messiah for centuries, wondering what he would look like and what he would do when he arrived.  When Jesus was born, that hope was finally fulfilled – “a prophet like you” (Deuteronomy 18:15) had come.  How Jesus fit the prophecies that the Israelites had been reading for centuries would become the key conflict of his ministry – whether he fulfilled them, and whether people had been reading them correctly.