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.
invitation is to clean out the past, to let go of what has been meaningless,
and to open our hearts to God doing something new.
congregation will take time in the week to consider what needs to be released
in order to move forward in relationship with God and one another.
7:10-16 A son will be born to us, whose
name will be “God with us.”
1:1-7 God sent the Apostle Paul to
proclaim a declaration of resurrection.
What does it mean to make space in our hearts for Christ’s love and presence? What do we need to do to be open to God’s love? How is it that we become “cluttered” in our holding onto the past and to things that do not matter? What are some practices or activities we can do that will help to move us forward in opening ourselves to God’s love and presence? How can we be people live our lives as a declaration of God’s love and forgiving peace?
has given us a time for proclaiming peace both in our own lives and in the
lives of the people who are around us.
will participate together in seeking ways we can build and share the peace that
is God’s will.
35:1-10 God is making a way of healing
and reconciliation, inviting all of us to participate in welcoming the renewal.
5:7-10 Practice patience and release the
grudges that separate us from God.
Questions: What happens to us when we become part of reaching out in love to others? How are we enabled to grow and see ourselves differently when we are participating in God’s love and grace flowing to others? What do we need to do in order to redirect our complaining and grumbling into reaching out in love and celebration of peace? How do we practically begin to work for peace rather than live in defensiveness and hostility? How do we find the place where we can reach out in love and serve Christ?
time to release our attachment to past wounds, grievances, and complaints so
that we may experience the welcome and acceptance that Jesus wants to share
congregation will begin to examine what past issues are being used for
self-justification and propping up identity.
11:1-10 The presence of Christ is coming
to create reconciliation and healing for all who will open themselves to the
knowledge of God.
15:4-13 Those who welcome others
as Christ has welcomed us find joy, forgiveness and healing.
What does it take to enable us to make a commitment to releasing our past wounds and complaints? Why do we hold onto and relive hurts, conflicts, and issues from the past? What is it that causes us to make our wounds and hurts central to the way in which we see ourselves? What would it take for us to let go of those things? How can we see ourselves as part of God’s love and redeeming work in the world? What do we need to do in order to open our hearts to healing, especially in the places that have long been painful?
need to focus on the gift of God’s presence and wisdom in order to make the
most of this time.
call the congregation to dedication to daily preparation for Christ’s presence.
2:1-5 The people seek to come to the
wisdom of God.
13:11-14 Wake up! Put on the Lord
Jesus Christ and make no room for the flesh.
What keeps us from fully appreciating the gift of Christ’s love in Advent and Christmas? What are the distractions that rob us of the joy and wonder of the season? How is it our grievances, unforgiveness, and fears lead us to denial, distraction, and focus upon things that are meaningless? Why do we focus on the things we cannot control, while neglecting to take time for the growth and wisdom that would become a source of strength?
calls those who are faithful to place their relationship with Christ and
faithfulness to serve above all other commitments and distractions.
examine what it means to make Christ the center of our life, and make a
commitment to what is the center of our faith.
23:1-6 Woe to the shepherds who
scatter the sheep and do not practice righteousness.
1:11-20 Be strong in the strength of
the power that comes from God in Christ.
In what ways does our personal faith in Christ affect our commitments to our family, our church, and to the world? How do we faithfully develop relationships which reflect Christ’s love? How do we avoid falling prey to serving our own egos or interpreting our selfishness into God’s call? What do we need to do in order to put Christ’s gift of forgiveness first in our ways of speaking and acting towards others? What is it we need to practice regularly as Christians in order to be more focused on Christ than upon the fears and worries that often begin to dominate our thinking?