are called to a new, better life of wholeness, healthy relationships, love, and
will commit to changes that will open us to new possibilities of relationship
with God and others.
12:1-4 God calls Abram to leave behind
his family and home to a new land that God will show him.
3:1-17 Jesus’ conversation with Nicodemus
the Pharisee at night.
What do we need to be willing to leave behind in order to move to a healthier place in our faith and relationship with God? What does it mean for us to be “Born from above” and how do we participate with God in our rebirth? In what ways is Nicodemus’ question “how can a person be reborn when they have grown old” describe our own sense of being unable to change? How do we open ourselves to the “water” and the “Spirit” to act in our lives in a new way? What is the difference between being faithful and being transformed by the power of God’s Holy Spirit?
are people who are mired in sin and unable to overcome our weakness.
will understand our need for submission to God.
2:15-17, 3:1-7 God’s
commandment to not eat of the fruit of the knowledge of Good and Evil.
4:1-11 Jesus’ temptation in the
wilderness by the devil.
What role does temptation and trial play in our process of sorting out our priorities? How is it that we come to examine what we truly believe rather than the things we wish we believed? What is the path we need to walk in order to come to a place where we are able to be authentic in our faith? What causes people to be more focused on their own will and desires rather than on what would truly be fulfilling and joyful?
choose to listen to God’s direction and gifts rather than return to our need
for control or comfort.
congregation will renew their commitment to listening to God’s call upon their
5:8-14 Be people of the light,
take no part in the works of darkness.
9:1-41 Jesus heals a man born blind,
the conflict with the Pharisees who cannot accept the healing.
What is blinding us from seeing the possibilities of God’s presence and power in the world around us? In what ways do we miss God’s grace and power because of our perceptions and judgments? How do we release our need for control and our false over confidence in order to see God’s movement in the world around us? What do we need to do in order to be part of God’s light coming into the world, rather than to be locked in our own limited points of view?
are healed and transformed by the power of God’s presence and awe, so that we
may choose to follow a new path of wholeness and peace.
will examine the gifts of awe and the power of God as we experience them in our
24:12-18 The glory of God’s power
is shown to Moses and Israel.
17:1-9 The story of the
transfiguration, and the call to listen to Christ.
What is the difference between experiencing the awe and wonder of God’s presence and being entertained or excited about an event? What purpose does the Transfiguration play in our relationship with Jesus? What does it mean to see Jesus differently? What influence does the power of God and wonder in God’s glory have in our ability to thoughtful and wise Christians? How does acknowledging God’s greatness and Jesus’ divinity cause us to see ourselves in a different perspective?
cannot know God’s instruction outside of an attitude of humility and kindness.
will re-examine our understanding of the law and teachings of God in light of
the need for compassion and humility.
30:15-20 God has promised that if
we follow God’s law we will experience wholeness and prosperity.
5:21-37 The laws of God require
humility and compassion in order to be fulfilled in God’s new Kingdom.
What does it mean for us to control our anger? How does our anger, lust, and insecurity interfere with our relationship with God and our relationships with the people around us? What practices do we need to learn so that we have a healthy relationship with our anger and ability to be honest with others? Why has the world become so prone to hostile outbreaks, insults, and falsehoods? What does the way in which people treat others (created in the image of God) do to our perceptions of God? What entices us to follow after false God’s of wealth, power, influence, or security?
relationship with God and with one another in the church is dependent on our
taking part in sharing the love and grace of God rather than focusing on our
control or getting our way.
congregation will consider their particular role of ministry versus falling
9:1-4 God will shine a light to all
people which will lead to hope and celebration.
4:12-23 Jesus calls the disciples
to be “fishers of men.”
Why did the disciples choose to follow Jesus? What does it mean for us to follow Jesus and to be a disciple? How does our need to serve God by using our particular gifts affect our relationships with Christ and with other Christians? How does our need to offer light into darkness differ from proselytizing or telling people what to believe? What is the joy of serving God (isn’t it work)? How do we enter into a relationship in which we are part of the light rather than serving obligations to do work for God?
love is a present strength to all those who open their hearts to the loving
kindness and compassion that God wants to share through us to all people.
Purpose: The Congregation
will examine and open themselves in their trust in God’s loving care for them.
Corinthians 1:1-9 God knows you and
has promised to strengthen you.
1:29-42 Jesus’ call of his disciples
knowing their strengths and weaknesses.
What does it really mean that God loves us? Does God really know what we need or is God too distant from us to be able to know much about us? How do we perceive God’s nature as far as being present and caring? What strength do we gain through trusting in God’s love and knowledge for us? Do we trust that God can know us and accept us? How do we deal with our feelings of guilt and fear that separate us from God?
are renewed by the promise that God’s love will sustain us and keep us close.
congregation will find confidence through God’s love and approval for every one
42:1-9 God will give light to the
covenant people and keep them safe.
3:13-17 Jesus was baptized by John
in the Jordan – God identifies Jesus as blessed and love.
What does our baptism mean to us now that we are grown up and older? How does our baptism continue to be a source of new life? If Jesus was sinless what does his baptism mean for us? What is the difference between God sending Jesus to stand with sinners and God being a punishing judge? How does the love and compassion of Jesus enable us to grow in our faith? What does it mean to worship Christ who was humble and accepting of people who were flawed and challenged?
light is the gift of experiencing the will of God which brings healing and
peace to all who will receive him.
congregation will experience awareness of God’s love for all people.
1:3-14 The plan of God is for all
to experience wholeness and salvation.
1:1-18 The Word of God, came into
the world, and for all who will receive him gives the power to know eternal
What does it mean to us that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us?” What is the wisdom or knowledge that comes to us through Christ Jesus being the “Light shining in the darkness?” How do people experience that light? What is the darkness in which people dwell? What does it mean to set our hope on Christ? How do we experience the light in a way that gives us hope when things are difficult?
We will have one worship service on December 29th, 2019.
Pastor Darren Beachy Preaching.
First Reading: Psalm 132
Second Reading: Matthew 1:1-17
The Notorious and the Nobodies in Jesus’ Lineage
Jesus’ lineage includes many people whom we would consider sex offenders, murders and downright evil people. Yet, without the notorious there would be no Christmas. Jesus’ linage also includes a lot of nobodies who only appear once in the Bible and that is in the linage of Jesus according to Matthew. Yet, without the nobodies there would be no Christmas. We may have the same type of people in our lineage yet if we live for Christ in our daily lives we too can bring Jesus into someone’s world.