Monday, November 30, 2020

First Sunday in Advent: Sermon and Announcements

November 29, 2020



ISAIAH 9:2, ISAIAH 2:6-7


Thanksgiving is now over, and the Christmas season has officially begun. Isaiah 9:2 points to the fact we have need of light to show the way. If you enter a room at night without a light on, you better remember where everything is, or you could trip and fall over things and hurt yourself.


When Isaiah was inspired by the Holy Spirit to make the announcements, we see in the 9th chapter of Isaiah Israel had seemingly lost its way. Something needed to happen, or God’s people would continue to wander aimlessly, at best, or else they might go so far from God in spiritual darkness they might never come back. These moments in relation to God seem to happen over and over again. It seems God’s people will get in a right relationship with God and before you know it we begin to think we have it all figured out. We seemingly say to God we are doing alright right now and will call you if we need you.  This was the place God’s people had moved to during Isaiah’s time. God was only needed on standby if the people got into trouble they could not handle. That pattern seems to repeat itself over and over again throughout history. God’s blessing is so strong, and God’s people are so thankful that everything seems to go really well for a while.

As we approach Christmas 2020, where are we? Are we, God’s people, where they were during Isaiah’s time or are we exactly where God wants us to be?


Christmas is one of those times of year God is calling us to reexamine lots of things in our lives. Not only should we take a look at where we are in relation to God, but we should also take some time to examine the relations we have with those closest to us, our families and friends, as well as the priorities we seem to have in life.


The Church throughout history has kept Christmas alive because often times we do lose our way over the course of the year. Sometimes things that started off with such promise may get off track. God knows us, his people, better than we know ourselves. God knows if we are headed the right way or if we are wandering in the darkness in desperate need of the light. No matter how close we are to God or how far we may have wandered, we all desperately need a Savior. It does not matter what your place in life may be whether you are one with plenty or one just barely getting by. We all need God’s saving grace.


In Isaiah 9 verses 6 and 7, God let his people know that help is on the way. Get ready, things are going to change. God’s people, as it turned out, still had about 700 years to wait until the light came to end the darkness.


We are so blessed to live in what many call the church age. We do not have to wait for the Savior to come. He is here, ready, and able to bring light to our darkness if we let him in. As we approach Christmas 2020, I believe this nation, this world needs the light only God can bring as much as ever before. There seems to be more wandering in darkness now than ever before. It is time for me first to examine my relationship with Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. While all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, God chooses to work through us as imperfect as we might be. So, at this Christmas where am I, Lord? Is your light shining brightly through me, or do I need you to light my way anew?


The people during Isaiah’s time probably did not really understand how God was going to change the world. No one understood just how God would accomplish His perfect plan for His people who desperately needed a Savior.


In the weeks to come, we will be reminded how God made a way for His people. What did it mean when Isaiah wrote, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given”? God points us back to that 2nd verse of Isaiah 9 once more. “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” What a promise God has made to us. We no longer have to walk in darkness, living in the fear of death. The light of the world has come. A child is born that will take away the sins of all God’s people. But as we will see once again, God brought it all about in the most amazing and miraculous way. May we seek God’s light this Christmas to reveal what is hidden before it is too late. After all, we all do need God’s light to show the way.


Announcements Nov. 29, 2020

In-person worship starts Sunday, December 6 for those who are comfortable coming. Worship will continue on facebook live as well.

Council meeting is postponed until January.

December 9 will be executive committee only, not the full board. The board will reorganize in January after council meeting.

Daily Bread devotionals are available for pickup in the copy room. The Upper Room is at the back of the sanctuary. Also, remember the Advent devotionals are in the back of the sanctuary for you to pick up.

Witness Commission donated $100 to the Piatt County Mental Health Center. A thank you has been received from them.

Women who have prayer partners, remember to place your clearly labeled gifts on the decorated tables in the basement between December 6 and December 13. These can be picked up any time after worship on the 13th. If you no longer want to participate in 2021 or if you haven’t participated and want to, let Carol know. Otherwise, those who are currently participating will have a new prayer partner slip in your mailbox by December 20.

Give Carol any newsletter submissions by Dec. 1 please.

Put directory information in Carol or Stacie’s mailbox or email it to them.

Pick up and pay for candy orders between 10:00 and 12:00 on December 5 please.






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