Breaking Open The Scriptures
Scriptures for December 13th – Zephaniah 3:14-20; Isaiah 12:2-6; Philippians 4:4-7; Luke 3:7-18
Songs: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming – UMH 216; Wild and Lone the Prophet’s Voice TFWS 2089; Hark the Herald Angels Sing – UMH 240
Zephaniah: Zephaniah is not the last book of the bible, but he is one of the minor prophets. The book contains nine prophecies. In the first 8 the prophet talks of judgment for Judah for all that the people have done wrong. But God will not destroy them for their mistakes. The section for today- the song of Zephaniah is a song of celebration. Life always goes on, no matter how tough the trial. God has a deep investment in our lives, God wants us to win, but God wants us to be disciplined in our winning. This is the official Sunday of joy in advent – our joy always begins with our repentance and God’s forgiveness.
Luke: The messenger is a big part of the Advent message. In this case John is the messenger for us. He preaches to same message of the Hebrew Bible, but to a different generation. For John the bad times are not behind us, but in front of us – tough times are coming. But if we are prepared, then that is not bad news for us. Because the one who will make everything right is also coming. First we must repent, and next we must have faith, and the second coming of Christ will transform us and our situations.
Questions: Next week we focus on peace, how does repentance bring about peace in our hearts? How does that peace within become peace out in the world? Who is the messenger for us to day? And what is the message of repentance that we need to hear today? What is it that we have to celebrate in praise and worship today?