Tag Archives: Advent

While We Wait

Second Sunday of Advent (Peace)
Sermon: Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Reading: Mark 1:1-8

His baptism — a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit — will change you from the inside out. (Verse 8)

Three Things We Can Count On

First Sunday of Advent (Hope)
Sermon: Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Reading: Mark 13:24-37

And then they’ll see the Son of Humanity enter in grand style, this Arrival filling the sky — no one will miss it! (Verse 26)

Advent 2020: ‘Mission Possible’ in an Impossible World

Bible study and guide to Sunday services

Advent 2020 is composed of the four Sundays before Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. The Advent wreath is for the four weeks and has five candles (one white, one pink and three blue):

    • First Sunday (blue) represents Hope
    • Second Sunday (blue) represents Faith
    • Third Sunday (pink) represents Joy
    • Fourth Sunday (blue) represents Peace
    • Christmas Eve Day (white) is usually in the center and is called the Christ Candle

Readings

Week 1: Hope

Sunday 11/29: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
Bible study 11/30: 1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-27: “Three Things We Can Count On”

Week 2: Faith

Sunday 12/7: Isaiah 40:1-11
Bible study 12/8: 2 Peter 3:8-15a
Mark 1:1-8: “While We Wait”

Week 3: Joy

Sunday 12/12: Psalm 126
Bible study 12/13: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28: “A Light in the Darkness”

Week 4: Peace

Sunday 12/19: Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26
Bible study 12/20: Romans 16:25-27
Luke 1:26-38: “Nothing Is Impossible With God”

You can also apply the 5W’s and 1H (Who, What, Where, When, Why and How) to the sermon and the passages and see how you would answer each.

Words of Affirmation

Fourth Sunday of Advent (Love)
Sermon: Alyce Keener, Vicar
Reading: Matthew 5:1-12

But God’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women. It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously — take God seriously. (Micah 6:8)

What Gift?

Second Sunday of Advent (Peace)
Sermon: Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Reading: Luke 21:1-4

All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on. (Verse 4)

Advent 2019 Theme: ’Stages of Love’

The Genesis of Advent

Starting in about the 9th century in the Western Church, the season of Advent has been celebrated as a period of preparation for the birth of our Lord and the beginning of the ecclesiastical year (Church year).

In the early church words Advent, Epiphany, and Nativity were used interchangeably to denote the “feast of the Nativity.” Advent services first appeared in the 6th century in the church of Gaul. Epiphany was observed as a baptismal festival and the period preceding it was utilized as a period of preparation for baptism, much like the season of Lent. So Advent originated as a type of “little Lent.” From France the observance spread to England in the 7th and 8th centuries. In the 9th century, Advent was finally incorporated into the Roman Rite.

The Meaning of Advent

The word “Advent” means literally, “to come to.” It is a special season when we celebrate the bold claim that the Lord of the Universe has come among us in human form through Jesus the Christ. In him we have Immanuel, God with us. Not only do we celebrate that God has come to the world in human form from Galilee but also that God is come as a spiritual reality and will come again in triumph at the close of the age.

There is another sense to the definition of Advent, “to come to.” Since God has, is and will come to us, therefore we need “to come to.” Our task as people in full relationship with God is to become fully awake not only to the importance of indwelling but also to the many immersions of Christ in our lives. None of us is fully conscious of God’s presence; we need to come to, to wake up, and be vigilant for the visits of God within history and at the end of time when God’s realm is fully realized.

The Mood of Advent

If God is coming to us and we truly believe that to be true, our mood will be one of excitement, anticipation, and joyful preparation. Mood is conveyed through color and light. As the awareness of the celebrative nature of Advent has grown, many congregations have substituted blue for the older tradition of purple, as we have done in our church. The brighter color of blue, the color of infinite sky, conveys better the bright hope of change and eternal life in the Christ than the more somber and sacrificial purple.

The Message of Advent

As we look at God’s word, we need to understand how the Christ (as the word of God) comes to humankind now and how we can receive and carry the Christ’s presence today. This starts with our Love… the guides for which can be found all throughout scripture. We are calling the next four weeks the Advent Stages of Love — the offering of quality Time, Gifts, Acts of Service and Words of Affirmation.  The task then becomes to take this journey over the next 4 weeks to come into a full consciousness with God, who comes to us in Jesus the Christ and these stages of God’s love.

Making Quality Time

First Sunday of Advent
Sermon: Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Reading: Matthew 24:36-44

You know that if the homeowner had known what time of night the burglar would arrive, he would have been there with his dogs to prevent the break-in. Be vigilant just like that. You have no idea when the Son of Man is going to show up. (Verses 43-44)

The First Shall Be Last

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Sermon: Rev. Paul M. Turner, Senior Pastor
Reading: Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

I’m bursting with God-news; I’m dancing the song of my Savior God. God took one good look at me, and look what happened — I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! (Verse 46)

Advent IV, 2018: Lighting the Candle for Love

From the order of worship for the fourth Sunday of Advent (Year C)

VOICE: Last Sunday we lit the candle of joy. We light it and the candles of hope and peace again as we remember that Christ, who was born in Bethlehem, will come again to fulfill all of God’s promises and bring us everlasting peace and joy.

The candles for hope, peace, and joy are lighted

VOICE: The fourth candle of Advent is the Candle of Love. God’s love is a perfect love. It holds nothing back. God, in love, gives us everything we need to live a life of hope and peace.

VOICE: The bible says that “God so loved the world that God gave God’s only Child, so that whoever believes should not perish, but have eternal life.” Jesus shows us God’s perfect love.

VOICE: This is what love is like: Love is patient, love is kind and envies no one. Love is never boastful or conceited, rude or selfish. Love is not quick to take offense, it keeps no records of wrongs, it does not gloat over other people’s troubles, but rejoices in the right, the good, and the true. There is nothing that love cannot face, there is no limit to its faith, to its hope, to its endurance.

VOICE: Love never ends. We light the candle of love to remind us that Jesus brings us God’s love and shows us how to love others.

The candle for love is lighted

VOICE: Love is like a light shining in a dark place. As we look at this candle we celebrate the love we find in Jesus Christ.

VOICE: Let us pray: Thank you God for the love you give us. We ask that as we wait for all your promises to come true, and for Christ to come again, that you would remain present with us. Help us today, and everyday to worship you, to hear your word, and to do your will by sharing your love with each other. We ask it in the name of the one who was born in Bethlehem. Amen.