yearA advent4 candlelighting
 

 


Sermons for this week:

          Matthew 1:18-25  -  "The Christmas Promise: God With Us"
          Various Text      -     "Christmas Eve & Candle Lighting Resources"
                             
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Advent 4: G. K. Chesterton, the noted British poet and theologian, was a brilliant man who could think deep thoughts and express them well.  However, he was also extremely absent-minded and over the years he became rather notorious for getting lost.  He would just absolutely forget where he was supposed to be and what he was supposed to be doing. On one such occasion, he sent a telegram to his wife which carried these words: “Honey, seems I’m lost again.  Presently, I am at Market Harborough.  Where ought I to be?”  As only a spouse could say it, she telegraphed back a one-word reply “HOME!”

 

This is precisely what this classic passage in the first chapter of Matthew does for us… it brings us home…

 

-- Home to the real meaning of Christmas

-- Home to the most magnificent truth in the entire Bible

-- Home to our Lord’s greatest promise

-- Home to the reason we celebrate Christmas  

 

Namely this: “GOD IS WITH US!” When we accept Christ into our lives, nothing, not even death, can separate us from God and His love.  Its what Christmas is about.  God is with us. The great people of faith have always claimed that promise.  Just think of it:

 

-- Moses caught between the Pharaoh and the deep Red Sea in a seemingly hopeless situation believed that God was with him and he went forward and trusted God to open a way and He did!

-- Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego went into the fiery furnace into a seemingly hopeless situation and they trusted God to be with them and He was!

-- Little David stood before Goliath.  What chance could a small boy with a slingshot have against this giant of a warrior?  But David believed that God was with him and it made all the difference!

 

Now, it’s interesting to note that when the writer of Matthew’s gospel wanted to capture the meaning of Christmas, the meaning of the Christ event, the meaning of Jesus in a single word, he did a very wise thing.  He reached back into the Old Testament, pulled out an old word, dusted it off, and used it to convey the message.  The word was Emmanuel.  That’s what Jesus is about “His name shall be called Emmanuel” which means, “God is with us.”

 

The impact of that Christmas promise is incredible.  When you believe that, when you accept that, when you claim that promise it will absolutely change your life.  Let me show you what I mean by bringing this closer to home.  Let me underscore three ideas relating to this great promise of God’s presence.  I’m sure you will think of others, but for now please consider these. We can claim the great Christmas promise God with us…

 

1. WHEN WE ARE FRIGHTENED.

2. WHEN WE ARE LONELY.

3. WHEN WE ARE IN SORROW.

 

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Six Advent Sermon Series & Christmas Resources all included in your membership:

Christmas:  Christmas Eve & Day Resources
                    by Brett Blair

1. Christmas Eve: What Was Seen At Bethlehem  -  Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20

2. Candle Lighting Sermon: A Great Light  -  Matthew 4:16

3. Christmas Day: No Room In The Inn   -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

4. Candlelight Service (Long Version)  -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

5. Candlelight Service (Short Version)  -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

6. A Service Of Light  -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)  -   J. B. Quisenberry

 

Advent:  All I Want For Christmas Is....
                by James W. Moore

 

1. All I Want for Christmas is Hope  -  Isaiah 64:104

2. All I Want for Christmas is Peace  -  Luke 2:8-14

3. All I Want for Christmas is Joy  -  Matthew 1:18-25

4. All I Want for Christmas is a Savior  -  Luke 2:1-7

 

 

Advent:  Won't You Let Him In
                 by James W. Moore

 

1. Won’t You Let Him Into Your Heart?  -  Luke 2:1-7

2. Won't You Let Him Into Your Celebration?  -  Luke 3:1-6

3. Won't You Let Him Into Your Gift-Giving?  -  Luke 3:7-18

4. Won't You Let Him Into Your Christmas?  -  Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

 

 

Advent:  Let Us Go To Bethlehem

                  by James W. Moore

 

1. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Faith of Christmas - Lk 2:15-21

2. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Promise of Christmas - Mt 1:18-25

3. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Peace of Christmas - Lk 2:8-20

4. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Christ of Christmas - Lk 2:1-14

 

 

Advent:  Something's About To Happen

                  by Thomas Long

 

1. When Something Is About To Happen  -  Mark 13:32-37

2. What Do You Mean, 'Repent'?  -  Mark 1:1-8

3. There’s A Man Going Around Taking Names  -  John 1:6-8, 19-28

4. Where’s The Treasure?  -  Luke 1:26-38

5. Shepherds And Bathrobes  -  Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20

6. They Also Serve Who Wait  -  Luke 2:25-40

7. We Interrupt This Service  -  John 1:(1-9) 10-18

 

 

Advent:  How To Profit From The Prophets

                  by Maurice A. Fetty

 

1. How to Profit from Prophets  -  Luke 1:76

2. Why Prophets Get Under Our Skin  -  Luke 3:9

3. Someone Greater Than a Prophet  -  Luke 1:33

4. The Long Loneliness  -  Romans 13:11-12

5. A Voice To Be Heard  -  John 1:23

6. The Unexpected Universe  -  Matthew 11:4-6

7. The Star Thrower  -  Matthew 2:9-10

8. The Inner Galaxy  -  Luke 2:6-7

9. The Second Naiveté: Babies, Angels, Shepherds, And God  -  Phil. 2:8

 

 

Advent: The Perfect Gift

                  by Dr. Bill Bouknight

 

1. The Wolf and the Lamb Inside Us  -  Isaiah 11:6-9

2. Gods Best Gift in the Worst Times  -  Micah 5:2-5a

3. Mary’s Revolutionary Song  -  Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

4. The Perfect Gift  -  Galatians 4:1-7

5. Naming the Divine Baby  -  Matthew 1:18-23

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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....

 

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