Sunday, December 2, 2012
December 9, 2012
Scriptures for December 9th: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6; Theme: Second Sunday of Advent; Song: Take Time to Be Holy – UMH 395 Philippians: Paul was not always welcomed in the places where he preached. Oftentimes he was run out of town by the very people that he was preaching to. But that was not the case in Philippi. Everyone liked him and welcomed his message. In a small greek town, you could meet any number of different people. There were soldiers, farmers, rich benefactors. And these people had no reason to come together, except to perhaps someone preach the good news – that God loves all of his people, and that Jesus came to save us all. These different groups of people all came together and welcomed Paul, but more importantly, they welcomed the God who sent him there. Paul knew that he was among good people, and he had a prayer that God would continue the good work in them long after he was gone somewhere else. We pray that God continues that work today in us. Luke: On this second Sunday of Advent, we are asked to prepare the way for the coming of the king. But we are also reminded that before the king comes, his messenger comes. This is the Sunday of John the Baptist – the one crying out into the wilderness. We have already been told to watch and to wait – now it is time for us to clear the way for an entrance. How are we on our spiritual journey to Christmas? Has John the Baptist caught us in sin once again? It is time for us to turn around and to repent. If we are followers of God, then we can be grateful for God’s salvation anew. Today we stand in the desert, stripped of our normal selves, vulnerable to God. We let God come into our lives one more time, and we are saved by our baptism. Questions: How is the church a place for different people to come and hear God’s message? What is the diversity in the church today? Who are the people who are different from us that we need to learn to accept as God’s people? What is the good work that God continues in us today? Is John the Baptist present today? What message tells us to prepare the way? What do I need to clean up out of my life in order for Jesus to really come into my heart? What sins do I need to repent of?