Monday, December 6, 2021

2nd Sunday in Advent Sermon and Announcements



December 5, 2021



Luke 1:68-79


As we see in the words of Zechariah, something major is about to happen. Zechariah came to understand God is about to begin changing the way, so that not only the Jewish people, but ultimately everyone, will see God in a new way. Zechariah had been told his son will set the stage for what God is going to do. However, it will not happen in a day or a month, not even a year. God will have things happen, as always, in his timing. We see God is fulfilling what he promised his people through the prophets long ago. Through Zechariah he is refreshing everyone’s memories by saying, “I told you this day was coming.” We are less than 3 weeks from Christmas. The things the Holy Spirit promised through the words of Zechariah are still what God’s people hold onto today. Christmas is a time to be reminded of God’s love and mercy for all of his people. As we count down the days until Christmas, it in some ways is like what Zechariah was doing when he received those words of hope and promise all those years ago. He faithfully waited for what had been told to him through the Holy Spirit to come to pass. I believe the peace that Zechariah and the peace mentioned in other places in scripture is often misunderstood. We want to believe God is promising an earthly peace where there will be no family conflicts, no social problems that have bad results. A belief the nations of the world will live in perfect harmony. That is not what God promises. Jesus in John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” Jesus is reminding everyone who will listen the peace God gives does not mean or promise everything will always be in perfect harmony. However, in all of life’s ups and downs, I will give my peace that only God’s people can fully receive.


Christmas reminds us of God’s perfect love. Jesus came into the world because God wants everyone to have a chance of salvation without conditions. I guess there is one major condition and that is that we realize we are sinners and Jesus came to build a bridge between God and man. Everyone must cross that one bridge to get to the salvation that is waiting for us on the other side. There is nothing wrong with us getting excited about Christmas no matter how young or how old we are. The fact that all of the promise started with a baby in a manger adds to the amazing beauty of God’s love. May the story of Christmas never grow old in our hearts. As that day gets closer and closer, may we allow God to cut through the potential hustle and bustle to reflect anew on God’s goodness, love, and mercy. This 2nd Sunday of Advent is about allowing God’s peace to be part of, not just the Christmas season, but part of every day of our lives. May God show us how to trust him more and more to the point the peace Zechariah was talking about and the peace Jesus promised can be ours. Not only in the good times but the difficult times as well. May the miracle of God’s love, mercy, grace and peace be more and more a part of our lives. May we be examples of all those characteristics of God to Cerro Gordo and beyond. We are never too old to receive the wonder of the Christmas season. Soak all of it in you can. May our prayer truly be “Lord grant us peace” as we celebrate Christmas this year with friends and family. It is the most wonderful time of year.

Pastor Larry



Bible Study 9:30 Tuesday—studying Hebrews


Today—please pick up a few Angels if you haven’t already.

Hard copies of the December newsletter are available in the back.

4:00 Christmas Vespers at the Cerro Gordo UMC.


December 8 12:00 Women’s Fellowship Potluck luncheon

Last initial A-J main dish; K-N salad; O-Z dessert; drinks and table service will be provided. We’ll reveal prayer partners and draw for 2022. All women are invited to attend.


December 8 Board Meeting 6:15 Exec. Comm.; 7:00 commissions; 7:30 board; reorganization follows. “Old” and “New” members, please come.


December 22 7:00 Christmas Service here


Offering plates are in the back of the sanctuary. Thank you!


Donation Box: The Lord’s Storehouse

First Sundays: food donations for food banks


Pastor Larry Traxler- (217) 454-2362


To keep up on Church of the Brethren news:

Denomination: Sign up for Newsline by clicking link on left side of page.

District: (click on newsletter link) and on facebook

Our pages: (printed sermon, announcements, & calendar) and on facebook

Keep in Your Prayers

Lee Legg and family; Dan & Val Rokosch; Shirley Krall; Baby Gemma; Baby Tate; Maralyn & Galen Heckman; Bryce Ashenfelter; Andy Flenner and family; Mindy Sawyer; Marlene Schultz; Randy West; Jen Durst; Sarah Rudelick; Sydney (Nancy Gorrell’s niece); Carl and Wilma Cable; Marge Starr; Mike Gentry; Larry Albro; Mike McCleery; Mike and Carol Seidenstricker; Sonna Hall; Brittany Wright; Owen Wright; Anna Gentry Thompson; Clyde and Nancy Fansler; Adiline Young; Kim Lehmann; Doug Fansler; Liza Yore; Candy Dobson; Anna Rose Larrick; Shawn Cain; Robert Cripe; Mayo & Darlene Hanaver; Zola Copeland; Patty Cripe; Lauren Gross; Stacie Warren; Nancy Gorrell; many unspoken requests; Coronavirus crisis; healthcare workers and first responders; the families of the 780,000+ people who have died from COVID-19; those who are ill from the virus; the unemployed; school teachers, staff, and students; victims of disasters; victims of shootings; nursing home residents; the Nigerian church; Haitian Brethren


Military and Other Services and their families

Brethren Volunteer Service workers; Disaster project workers


Church of the Brethren vision statement:

Together, as the Church of the Brethren, we will passionately live and share the radical transformation and holistic peace of Jesus Christ through relationship-based neighborhood engagement. To move us forward, we will develop a culture of calling and equipping disciples who are innovative, adaptable, and fearless.


Our Mission Statement:

Love God, grow with others, serve faithfully, reach the lost, find peace.

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