In this second week of Advent, we are introduced to the affects of light shining on a crowd of people being influenced by John the Baptist. People from all walks of life are attracted to his message. What message did he proclaim? Well, he started off calling them a bunch of snakes! Then he called them on the carpet for taking advantage of the poor, mistreating neighbors, abusing the rights of citizens, and even cheating their employers out of an hipness day’s work. You might wonder how this calling to accountability and invitation to take responsibility was an attractive message. They knew John the Baptist saw the light of possibilities when he looked at them with a wide lens. We are responsible for the ideas we choose to spread. Be inspired to share your best ideas about God’s love!
“Advent” denotes the beginning of the Christian worship year as we bring into view Jesus’ arrival at his birth. Instead of jump-scares into Christmas and attending anxieties, many appreciated Advent’s needed time for reflection, preparation, and openness to new ways that Jesus can arrive in our lives. The four weeks of Advent begin this Sunday, December 1, when we celebrate around the Lord’s Table, enjoy special holiday music and decorations, our Poinsettia Trees, and light the Advent Candle of Hope! Your friends and neighbors will be grateful for your invitation to join you!
Pastor Kevin has also prepared a special Advent Series of messages using photography as a metaphor for our faith titled, The 5 Lenses of Christmas. Deeply focused on our Advent Scripture readings, each week we will create a different field of view using Normal, Wide, Ultra Wide, Telephoto, and Macro lenses in our spiritual camera bag that will bring our experience of Christmas into sharp focus.
This week we will use a Normal lens in a message from Matthew 24:36-44 titled, “From Influenced to Influencer.”Advent is a time to hear Isaiah the prophet urge us to walk in the light of the Lord while the Apostle Paul reminds the neighbors in Rome that God’s deliverance is getting closer every day. As we wait, Jesus’ words to be ready for Jesus are not intended to scare us or provoke fears of being left behind. Instead, Jesus promotes our growth in mindfulness that is a counter narrative to political rancor, consumerism’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and to instead respond in faith to opportunities at hand, like Giving Tuesday exhorts us to do!
Come to worship this week for your wake-up call to resist being negatively influenced to becoming an positive influencer of faith as we focus on Jesus who continues to arrive in our life each day.
Pulling up in front of a loading zone, the sign read: NO IDLING. A car running at idle doesn’t accomplish anything worthwhile. Idling is a wait-state between off and on. In fact, idling not only needlessly consumes fuel, but creates noxious fumes for those walking nearby. It’s better to be off than idle. It’s best, though, to get energized and move forward!
This week, Pastor Kevin’s message from 2 Thessalonians 3 will invite us to examine the status quo and honestly take a look where we are within it. Is there anyone who hasn’t gotten weary in doing good? Found yourself stuck in idle? Get your faith in gear this week and with the spiritual fuel you need. Not to “work harder,” but love more, trust more, serve more, feel more engaged doing good.