The world can be a dark place. We see it in the news. We see it in our lives. But on the first Christmas, a brilliant light pierced the darkness. The child born in a Bethlehem stable had come to bring the light of forgiveness and peace to a darkened world. Join us to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ! Our Christmas worship will feature an inspiring message, favorite Christmas carols, and a place to bask in the light of the Christ-child.
The ancient church had Latin titles for all their Sundays. They called the third Sunday in Advent “Gaudete Sunday.” The Latin word gaudete means rejoice. On some Advent wreaths, the third candle is a pinkish rose color, symbolizing joy.
An encouragement to rejoice might sound odd in light of this Advent season’s themes, especially Christ’s second coming to this world. We have seen that when Jesus comes again he is going to judge all mankind and destroy the universe. Even the gospel reading for today warns about “the coming wrath” which will include “unquenchable fire.” If that is what Christ will bring at his second coming, how can we possibly live joyfully?
Answer: because of Christ’s first coming. When Jesus came that first Christmas, it wasn’t to bring judgment, but to bear judgment. Jesus was born, not to punish sin, but to be punished for sin. All those with faith in Christ know that when he comes for the second time, it will be to deliver us, not destroy us. He will not increase our pain but take every pain away. Then, and not a moment before, our lives will finally be perfect! And so, we live joyfully and thankfully, looking forward to Christ’s return.
How do you feel when meeting someone important? Maybe it was a job interview with your potential future boss. Did you feel peaceful walking into that meeting? Or perhaps you were summoned, for a reason unknown to you, to come to the principal’s office at school? As you walked the hallway towards his door, were you at peace? When we come face-to-face with someone who can influence the direction of our lives, that tends to be nerve-wracking, not peaceful. How nervous will you be, then, when you stand face-to-face with your God, who will determine where you spend eternity?
God is much more than a boss or a principal. He is your Creator, the one who gave you life. And when he did, he intended you to use that life in a very specific way, one which would bring glory to him and beauty to this broken world. So, are you ready to meet him?
Today, we see that God wants you to be at perfect peace when you stand before him. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace...” the angels sang that first Christmas Eve. Through the work of Christ, sinners are at peace with a holy God. Even more, throughout history God’s messengers like John the Baptist proclaimed the gospel, so that God’s people could live in peace. God raises up a messenger to preach that gospel to you today.
When you look at the downward spiral of humanity, it is easy to grow cynical. The world seems to grow more dangerous each year. People are more divided than they have been in a long time. Immorality is no longer something that people try to hide. As a nation, we have become largely disinterested in God. Disgusted by the world, we then look in the mirror, and things do not improve much. For we confess that we are not pillars of nobility and virtue either.
Looking at our world or at ourselves, it is easy to become jaded. But today, Christ Jesus wants us to set that aside and, instead, to live in hope. Our hope is not a naïve wish that things will get better. Our hope is rooted in the fact that Christ came at that first Christmas to forgive every sin. Our hope is that just as he kept his promise to come the first time, Jesus will keep his promise to come again and destroy everything that is wrong with Creation. Judgment Day will be full of incomprehensible terror for those who have aligned themselves with the world. But Christians hope that day comes soon. Confident that we are wrapped in Christ’s righteousness, it will be a day of great deliverance.
When: Wednesday, October 31st, 1-6pm
Where: Downtown Fenton (likely in the United Methodist church parking lot)
What: handing out candy & Shepherd of the Lakes information and invitations to trick-or-treaters
What #2: just being a friendly face to our community!
Why: Opportunity to show kindness talk with people, perhaps even about Jesus!
How: Sign up HERE!
This is Easter: Jesus rose from the dead to prove that he really did forgive all your sins. Because the grave was empty, your life isn't. It's full. Forever! We'd love to have you come celebrate the resurrection with us.
9:15-10:30 - Free breakfast served
10:30-11:30 - Worship
11:35 - Easter Egg Hunt
Hopefully you can come hear the good news of Christianity: Jesus sacrificed himself to pay for your sins and rose from the dead to prove it!
What: Family Movie Night
What (part 2): The Case for Christ (or "The Prince of Egypt" for any little ones who'd prefer that)
Who: You and anyone you'd like to bring!
Foods: Pizza, salad, and drinks will be provided--feel free to bring along fruits, veggies, or dessert if you'd like!
Location: Shepherd of the Lakes - 8420 Runyan Lake Rd, Fenton
Who is God? Is he real? If so, is he loving? What is he like? What does he do? And most importantly, what does he think of me?
Come for a special outdoor worship service, with (free) breakfast served beforehand starting at 9:30am.
Feel free to bring your own chair (we'll also have plenty of seating available) and sit back to learn what God is really like!
Martin Luther triggered a seismic upheaval that rocked the western world in the 1500s—with an impact that continues to reverberate to this day. This film tells the great adventure story of his life. At the same time, it examines his quest for truth—questions we all must face—including “Who am I?” and “What is my purpose?”
Hope to see you there!