Dear Church Family and Community,
Joy to the World; the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing.
I love joy. I love that joy is to be known and experienced and not simply felt. It’s a word that brings pictures to mind. It brings memories that takes us back to places we’ve been or times we’ve shared.
Joy is a word that we hear a lot this time of the year. However, like Isaac Watts’ famous song above, the joy that we are to sing as Christians is the celebration of God’s blessing to our world, that His Son, our Christ, has come. We celebrate that the Kings of all Kings came to walk among us. We celebrate with all of creation that our God who is infinite comes into a set time and space, and nothing is ever the same–as God’s plan for salvation and redemption of the cosmos is realized in Christ.
This Sunday in our services we are going to continue our Advent Series Creation of God’s Kingdom by focusing on the joy that God brings into our world. More specifically, we are going to revisit Zechariah, his wife Elizabeth and their story found in the first chapter of Luke. We are going back to help us move forward in understanding how Christ’s coming brings true joy into world through prepared hearts.
To prepare for this week’s services, please take time to read and pray through Luke 1, but specifically verses 5-25. As you read, think through and answer for yourself: What is faithfulness? How would you define joy in light of this passage? What is the difference between punishment and consequence, and how does that apply here to Zechariah? And how has God brought you joy by fulfilling promises to you?
Last week in our Creation of God’s Kingdom series, we met Simeon and learned about peace from God. The witness of Simeon’s life teaches us that peace from God is shalom. God in Christ makes it possible for us to be at peace with God, each other, the rest of creation, and even ourselves. And a life filled with the peace that God gifts leaves us with the Holy Spirit on us, speaking to us, and moving us to do God’s work. If you weren’t able to join us, please be sure to check it out here on our website, or through our sermon podcast on Soundcloud, Google Play, iTunes, or Stitcher.
I pray that this finds you all well. I hope that the peace of God is filling your hearts and lives with joy. Praise God from whom all blessings flow, praise the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Holy Ghost. God bless you all!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Luke 1:25)
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