Advent Sermon Series: God With Us
In the season of Advent, we prepare to welcome Jesus, the Messiah in God With Us. This year, as we await our Lord, we will put ourselves in the place of the first people who awaited and celebrated Jesus’ birth. Through their stories, we will learn what it meant for God to be with them, and we will open our eyes to experience God with us, too.
November 27 – “God with Zechariah”
Scripture: Luke 1:5-16
There are moments when circumstances in life or deferred hopes and dreams may feel like a heavy burden with no relief in sight, from smaller expectations to deeper concerns, such as job security, financial responsibility, and fragile relationships. While all of us face the mystery of what tomorrow may bring, the assurance we have is that when we pray, God is with us.
December 4 – “God with Joseph”
Holy Communion will be served during the service
Scripture: Luke 4:1-15 (NRSV)
The Christmas story of Jesus’ birth begins with a dilemma. Mary’s pregnancy creates a real issue for Joseph. He is not the father; this situation not only creates personal pain, but it also could cause a public scandal. Joseph chooses not to disgrace Mary, but instead, he will divorce her, the best that could be hoped for in this situation. However, the Spirit of God moves Joseph from doing good out of a sense of obligation to the revelation of God’s extraordinary plan. When God calls us to move beyond our duty, God is with us.
December 11 – “God with Mary”
Scripture: Luke 1:26-38 (NRSV)
God calls us into unknown places that we wouldn’t foresee for ourselves. We often deal with unanswered questions and doubts in our lives and inerasable life-long pain in our hearts. When the world is full of joy and celebration, our sorrow deepens. This message is dedicated to those who are grieving the loss of family members or friends and going through life challenges and emptiness and loneliness in their hearts. We gather during this season of waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ, the One who came for those who mourn and suffer, to seek wholeness and healing in God. In the midst of uncertainty, pain, and grief, God is with us.
December 18 – “God with the Shepherds”
Scripture: Luke 2:8-20 (NRSV)
Christmas shows us that God takes ordinary lives and does extraordinary things with them. The shepherds who were often dismissed play a prominent role in proclaiming the message of Emmanuel, God is with us.
December 24 – “God with Us”
(5 PM Family Service; 7 PM Traditional Service)
Holy Communion will be served during the services
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20 (NRSV)
There is a big difference between God for us and God with us. The story of Jesus’ birth is a perfect example of that. A bunch of shepherds and a young couple gather at a barn in some backwater Roman province. God was with us there and any others in the lowly status. Indeed, the same God is with us here, too.
Scripture: Luke 2:25-35 (NRSV)
Help is here. Our temptation can be to think that we’re alone in our wait for help, but the truth of Christmas is that help is already here. Simeon waited many years for the “consolation of Israel,” and when he met Jesus, he was finally ready to rest.