As we inch ever closer to Christmas,
we are reminded that the point of all our preparations is
to worship our Savior,
who was born to die for us.
Many have suggested that Christmas has nothing to do with death,
but without the death and resurrection of Jesus,
we are left with nothing;
May the JOY of the Advent season fill our lives
so much so,
that Jesus radiates from us
and therefore brings You glory.
In Jesus name I pray,
Yours is the glory and honor and praise.
Yours is the Kingdom forever more.
You said a word and creation sprang forth.
You breathed breath and life sprang up.
And therefore, oh God, I ascribe all worship onto You,
oh sovereign King and Lord.
And so it is with great joy that I appeal to You this day.
It is with great joy that I fall into Your hands.
It is with great joy that I hope in You.
Bless my words and deeds
that everything about me points to You.
May I not seek advise from men but rather call out to You.
May I not worry and fret but rather find peace in You.
May Your Kingdom come.
In Jesus name I pray,
when the seas billow
and the wind rages,
it threatens to submerge us in
but Jesus walks on the water.
Jesus is above the waves.
Jesus commands the winds.
Through our faith in him,
bid us to come to You and may we too walk on the water
and find peace in our souls.
In Jesus name we pray,
Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. [Matthew 10:34]
Of all of the head scratching things Jesus has said this is perhaps the head scratchiest of them all. I have not come to bring peace? That doesn’t sound like Jesus, right? I mean, he is the Prince of Peace, right? In John 14 he said, Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. In Luke 2, the angels sing, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased! Everything we know about Jesus is one of peace. I feel at peace when I am near him. I feel at peace when I am in the Word. I feel at peace when I am praying. I think many of you could say those things as well. So, what is Jesus saying here; Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. That is what we need to explore. After all, if we are going to go out and make disciples of all nations, we had better get the message right because there are many that do not. Jesus did not come to bring peace to earth…but…he did bring peace. The issue at hand is this: What kind of peace did Jesus bring?
I can hardly wait to dive into this text 🙂
All praise and glory be unto God the Father through Christ Jesus my Lord.
Father God, Calm my spirit that I may worship You. Calm my thoughts that I may fully think on You. Calm my fears that I my proclaim Your goodness with my whole life. Calm my pride that I may glorify You. Calm my heart that I may see Your faithfulness. For when fear and anxiety run my life, I turn from You. May that never happen. Give me calm, that through Jesus Christ, I may enjoy You forever. Amen.
Below is an opening paragraph for the sermon this coming Sunday (Advent 2). The theme is peace and the context is your life. The text doesn’t follow the lectionary but I’ve never been one to stay in line 🙂
So here you go:
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. [Luke 1:26-27]
We’ve heard this situation over and over again; a young girl betrothed to a man named Joseph, who was going to become pregnant during an inconvenient time. Actually, for Mary to become pregnant during the betrothal period, even by her own husband, would subject her to stoning; something that many of you have heard before. And to some it may sound like I am belaboring some basic biblical story details but these details are important. These details set the scene for the peace that Mary would soon receive following some incredible news. Because really, these details highlight the chaos in our own lives. They set the scene for God to enter our lives with Good News and at times that may seem inconvenient or at times we do not expect. And that’s exactly how God works. God works in situations and at times that we would not expect. God does this that God may receive the most glory because it is only God that can give peace during those “inconvenient” moments. And when one sees that God is in control in those moments, something amazing happens, as we will see with this young, betrothed, peasant girl.
May God surprise you during this Advent season and bring you an “inconvenient”peace. Amen.
The Heart of a Pastor is now the owner of http://www.heartofapastor.blog. I decided to streamline my blog address as the new .blog domain names just became available. This shouldn’t mess people up (too much). I believe my old (and longer) address will redirect you to my site.
In any case, nothing is changing with this site, just the shorter address. So to close, I am not going to leave with you just an administrative update but rather with the Word of God:
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.