Countercultural Joy (Philippians 4:4-7)

Countercultural Joy (Philippians 4:4-7)

It really struck me this week as I was considering how joy works that there are so many images in our popular culture (especially from my favorite, classic Christmas films) that give us impressions of what true Christmas joy is. The trouble is…in some manner they all fall short of the mark.

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Seeing Possibilities (Luke 3:1-14)

Seeing Possibilities (Luke 3:1-14)

The glory of the angels is preceded by the fire proclaimed by John the Baptist for those not stirred to look around and yearn for peace. Not one of us can save the world…and at times, even on Christmas Day, we may have a hard time just maintaining peace with the people we share the world with! Yet we are children of a God who fulfills His promise to restore, renew, and work out the possibilities His Spirit brings to fulfillment in us.

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Blessed Are the Peacemakers (James 3:14-4:10)

Blessed Are the Peacemakers (James 3:14-4:10)

Making peace by asking one another for forgiveness is a uniquely Christian task. Above all other things, it is what churches should be facilitating followers of Jesus to do! And yet, humbling ourselves to admit wrongdoing and living in peace with one another is outside of our ability as fallen, strife-loving people. Especially when we are used to being right (as parents, teachers, administrators, and yes…even pastors!), to admit that we are indeed wrong requires a real stepping-down. Join us this Sunday as we celebrate the Prince of Peace, the One who humbled himself to death..even death on the cross…that we sinners might be reconciled to God and take part in a ministry of reconciliation, too.

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Sacred Rest (Gen 2:1-3; Deut 5:12-15; Mark 2:23-3:6)

Sacred Rest (Gen 2:1-3; Deut 5:12-15; Mark 2:23-3:6)

t isn't easy to step out of the torrent of activity that pushes us along in life. It is so much easier to give in to the schedule book, the demands of others, the need to be appreciated, the expectation that we will perform better than before. Sometimes there are real needs to be met RIGHT NOW. But this is not where Life is found. This week, we not only hear the refrain of sacred rest in the Scriptures....we rely on the gift of the Spirit to more perfectly sing it ourselves.

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Necessary Preparations (Mark 1:1-8; Isaiah 40:1-11)

Necessary Preparations (Mark 1:1-8; Isaiah 40:1-11)

Time out to listen to John the Baptist may seem like one more thing to schedule, along with the shopping, the making of vacation reservations, doing the photo shoot for the family greeting card, you name it. What does the proclamation of John really mean…and how does it impact our waiting—and receiving—Jesus? 

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