Sunday, November 29, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for December 6th: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11; Luke 3:1-6; theme: second Sunday of advent; song: 706 Soon and very Soon Malachi: I always get excited when we start to read the words of Handel’s Messiah in the bible. It tells us how we are to prepare ourselves for the coming of Jesus in the world and in our lives. These words remind us that we are about to have an encounter with the divine. And that is no ordinary task. We are sinners, our hands are dirty. We must do what we can to make then clean! Sometimes God takes it upon himself to clean us. We wont come out of the dirt ourselves, But God will create situations that will refine us and make us a better person. What comes out of the fire is stronger, more durable and longer lasting and many times for our own good. Be thankful for the challenges, you would not be who you are without them. Luke: Luke also talks about cleansing before the sacred. He also talks about baptism and straightening up. Before any spiritual change there is a prophecy. We have to be ready to go in a new direction, or the instruction will come and we will just keep walking. Once again this is a verse from Handel’s messiah. Advent is well on its way, your preparations should be to. Not for company coming, But for Jesus. Who are the modern day prophets? What are they telling us to get us ready for a new day, a day with Jesus? Questions: What things have happened in your life to purify you soul? Are you grateful for hard times or resentful? What do you need to get out of your life before Jesus comes? What do you want for Christmas this year? What spiritual gift do you want?
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for November 22nd: 2 Samuel 23:1-7; Psalm 132:1-12; Revelation 1:4-8, John 18:33-37; theme: the last Sunday of the year; Holy Holy Holy - UMH 64 Revelation: This is the last Sunday of the Christian year. Everything starts anew next week. So it is fitting that we read a scripture about the end. The end of life as we know it. It talks about how Christ will return a second time to actually claim his kingdom on earth and turn it into something else. For every ending there is a beginning of something else. Christ has the power to make an earthly world a spiritual world. But we have to be prepared for the change. We have to be waiting and watching for a change. Jesus depends on his followers to prepare those who have not yet heard that Christ is King! The change comes in our hearts before it comes to the world, and then we are to work to bring God’s kingdom on earth. John: This is Christ the King Sunday. Jesus has come to Jerusalem, and he is in the chambers of Pilate. Pilate asks him the key question – Are you a King? Is what they say about you true? If he is a king, the jews want him to be killed. How can Christ be king, when our earthly king is in charge? What does Jesus have to do in order to be in charge? In the next verses, Jesus answers, and says that my kingdom is not of this world. He is not a threat to the earthly king. But he is a threat to our sin. If we are able to put Christ first in our lives. What do you need to do for Christ to be your king? Do you worship him? Do you change your actions because of him? Would you do anything to serve him? What does it mean that his kingdom is not of this earth? Where is it then? Questions: What are your doing to prepare for the second coming? What are you doing to prepare others? How will you recognize the reign of Christ when you see it with your own eyes? What are you doing to make Christ king? What would happen if Christ were our ruler instead of Obama? Would this be a better world? Or about the same?