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Stretching for the limits? Is our faith experience a collection or facts, or a collection of connections? Life connections. When Jesus calls you and says, Follow me, are you ready to passionately just get up and follow, or do most of us just hold back a little because thats how we were taught. The Lion of Judah is leading into a future of hope. Let’s invest in that journey! Let’s try an experiment. Stretch your right arm up as far as you can. Now, reach further. Wow. Thanks. Did you notice that almost everyone reached further when asked. Why didn’t you reach at that far at the beginning? You can blame the inventor of the #2 pencil. We are not standardized, interchangeable parts on an assembly line of living. Do you know why the earliest teacher’s colleges were called Normal Schools? Because that’s all they expected! They wanted everyone to be normal. But look around you this morning. Do you see normal? Of course not! Each one of us has that same inner light of Christ that shines in its own uniquely faceted beauty.
Who are you looking for this morning? A Lion or a Lamb? The Lion of Judah has your back. In fact, he’s leading you forward and you can be confident that Jesus the Lion of Judah will protect you into the future, though the future is uncertain and the sun and moon above may fall from the sky!
Jesus is also the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Maybe you need to meet the Lion. Or, the Lamb. Either way, let’s not hold back with that what we have been taught in school since the early 1900’s. Following Jesus is not done with a standard #2 pencil, as we answer standardized multiple-choice questions, so we can be the next interchangeable part for an assembly line called church. No! Church is not for normal people. You are not “standard!”
The Lion roars its invitation to a future of hope despite the sky falling and the uncertainties that abound! The Lamb has forgiven you of your past and freed you to live your very best self right now, and into the future. So let’s get up and go this Advent season. The light of Hope shines brightly and I can’t wait for what’s next!
Why do we light our Advent Wreath Candles? Because it helps us to remember that God’s light is always present in our lives, every day. God offers us a dependable light, the light of Jesus Christ. This light, though, is not just in the five candle here in our worship center, no. The light of Jesus in within you. And you. And you. How do you know? Deep inside, no matter how we feel, no matter our mood. Sad or glad. Fearful or Courageous. The Light of Christ is within to give us hope. Hope that is brighter than any darkness. This week, remember that Jesus is your light.
About the Pastor
The Rev. Dr. Kevin Yoho is a minister member of West Jersey Presbytery, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He began in September 2016 serving Cold Spring Church in a part-time, interim role as Transformation Pastor. His mission is to resource the leadership and congregation to clarify its mission, reconnect to the community at large, and improve the growth and vitality of the church. Kevin’s life mission is building hopeful and healthy communities using the lens of theology, technology, and transportation. (You can listen to Kevins sermons here, and read Kevin’s blog at www.reciprocalrevo.com.)
Kevin’s new book on community and congregational transformation, Crayons for the City- Reneighboring Communities of Faith to Rebuild Neighborhoods of Hope, was recently published by Wipf & Stock’s Cascade Books. More information can be found at the Amazon Page link: http://amzn.to/2z8timg.
Dr. Yoho Kevin served more than nine years as the executive (General Presbyter) of Newark Presbytery (NJ), a regional council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Prior to his call to Newark in 2006, Dr. Yoho served 23 years in parish ministry as a pastor. As a mission specialist, he tries to offer transformative leadership in community building.
On the faculty of City Vision University, he is an instructional designer and teaches Social Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Youth Ministry, Leadership and Management, Organizational Systems, and Vocation and Calling: Theology of Work.
Dr. Yoho is a graduate of Washington Bible College and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 1999, he earned a Doctor of Ministry degree with honors of distinction for his thesis project on church and community transformation, Revitalizing the Local Church for Mission.
Dr. Yoho is married to the love of his life, Dr. Melissa Arnott, EdD LPC LCADC, and they enjoy their family and neighbors making their home in Ocean City, New Jersey.
Cold Spring Church
780 Seashore Road
Cold Spring, NJ 08204 USA