Sunday, November 27
God gives us Hope
Daniel 6:6-27
Advent Week 1

The story of Daniel in the lion’s den is familiar to many of us; what is surprising about this story is that it is King Darius, a Mede, a non-Israelite, who confesses faith in God. As Daniel faces death, Darius calls upon Daniel’s God to deliver him; after Daniel is delivered, Darius confesses Daniel’s God as “living, enduring, delivering and rescuing.” This story proclaims that the God of Daniel, our same God, is a God of Hope.

Sunday, December 4
God gives us Mercy
Joel 2:12-13; 28-29

Advent Week 2

The prophet Joel announces the word of the Lord, inviting us return to our God, and promising us the power of the Spirit. There is both the promise that God is waiting for us with open arms—there is mercy waiting—and the promise of the Spirit which will give us God’s vision.
Notice that God is described in five ways, as gracious, merciful, slow to anger, steadfast in love, and relenting from punishment.
Joel’s invitation calls upon us to return, to repent, to come back to our God, because ours is a God of Mercy.

Sunday, December 11
God gives us Justice
Isaiah 6:1-11

Advent Week 3

The first part of Isaiah 61 is written in the first person: “me,” Isaiah says, God has anointed me. This anointing is for a purpose, “to bring good news,” with all which that means, for the brokenhearted and the hopeless. Later, Isaiah turns to the whole people and calls them to share in his calling, “you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named ministers of our God.” Isaiah calls us to lives of service; to all who are baptized in Christ Jesus, this calling, this anointing, is the same: we are the priesthood of believers.
In Isaiah, the God of Justice calls us to live lives which proclaim the Christ whose name we bear.
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Sunday, December 18
God gives us a Promise
Luke 1:26-56

Advent Week 4

Each of the Gospels uses the word “gospel,” “good news,” in its own way; in Luke, the emphasis is on the news that is being delivered.
Luke 1:19, “I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news.”
Everything that we do as individuals, as a congregation, has the potential to proclaim this Jesus, who is promised by the angel messenger. Our everything can serve to “magnify the Lord,” who has “helped us according to the promise made to our ancestors.”
Ours is a God who promises to come to us, to live in, with, and for us, and to fill us with good things.

Saturday, December 24 like us
Luke 2:1-7

Christmas Eve

Sunday, December 25
A God of Glory
Luke 2:8-20

Christmas Day