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Sermons for this week:

          Matthew 24:36-44  -  "Get Ready, Get Set...Wait!"
          Various Text      -      "Advent Sermon Series"
                 
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Advent 1: Today marks the beginning of the season of Advent, a time of preparation, a time of going toward the coming again of the Messiah, a time of great expectation and great anticipation. But exactly what is it that we anticipate? What are we getting ready for? What do we expect to happen? Do we anticipate the end of the world, as some religious cults always do at this time of the year? Are we preparing our hearts and spirits to receive again the coming the coming of the Christ child into the world? Or are we preparing for yet another month-long shopping spree that some have called "economic first-degree murder" – willfully and with malice aforethought murdering our bank accounts? Or maybe we’re getting ready for the seven to ten pounds the average American will gain during the season (Lord, please let me be an underachiever this year!)? Or are we preparing for the suicidal traffic jams at Tanglewood Mall in Roanoke, or the general atmosphere of surliness and desperation? (A couple of years back I remember hearing on the local news in West Tennessee that shoppers were actually coming to blows for the right to buy a Holiday Barbie doll!)

 

Are we getting ready for the depression, the anxiety, and even the rage that accompanies the secular holiday season? If we allow ourselves to get caught up in the consumer Christmas – and I firmly believe that we in America celebrate two separate events on December 25 – we can easily find that instead of preparing to sing "O Holy Night" we will find ourselves living out one holy nightmare.

 

For the many who faithfully observe the consumer Christmas, Advent is the inevitable prelude to disappointment. For the majority of these folks, Christmas somehow hardly ever measures up to their fantasies. Even for those who manage to have some of their Christmas wishes fulfilled, the season is over so quickly that the need to make New Year’s resolutions to lose those added pounds, bears down on them even before the decorations come down.

 

But the Advent we celebrate in the church – the one that has nothing at all to do with the number of shopping days left until Xmas – is altogether different. The hanging of the greens, the placement of the poinsettias, the lighting of the first Advent candle – all these invite us to dream dreams of a better world, to allow expectant visions that have nothing to do with sugar-plum fairies to dance in our heads. Advent invites us to fill the cup of today with a full measure of tomorrow. Both the passage from Isaiah and the words from the Gospel of Matthew express the Christian hope for a different, brighter future.

 

When the prophet Isaiah thought about the advent of God, he envisioned....

 

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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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eSermons.com offers thousands of illustrations like the one below:

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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