December 12, 2021 Service
Advent Week 3: Joy
The Servant Savior
  • Christmas Together

    is the theme of the Christ’s Birthday Observance for 2021.
    After all this time away from our workplaces, or isolated at home, or sick, or quarantined, or even facing the loss of loved ones without the means of properly mourning their death with little delay, we need a season of Christmas Together.
    On the first Sunday of Advent we spoke of Hope. Last week we spoke of Love. Today we will talk about Joy, and next Sunday, the Sunday before Christmas, we will speak of the Peace that Jesus brings.
    This special season of Advent, really a season to prepare our hearts for the remembrance of the Advent of Jesus Christ, meaning the appearing, or coming, of the Messiah of God, we need to remember some of those themes that are a real part of what Jesus brings to us.
    So, since we have a church business meeting scheduled for the break between services today, let’s get things started.
    >>>It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that we are living in a world that is . . .

    Confused and Divided

    by ideas, politics, race, money, vaccines, COVID opinions, social opportunities, wars, and so much more. It is no wonder that depression and suicide and murder are at the highest rates in decades.
    It’s like all the light left the room, and took hope, love, joy and peace with it.
    >>>The world has turned dark, and

    We Need Some Light

    to shine in our darkness.
    Have you ever experienced true darkness? Where every source of light is missing?
    Bobbi can tell of a particular Summer night at Camp White Branch, the Church of God campground in the southern Cascade mountains of Oregon, along the McKenzie Pass. She was there for several weeks as the pool manager for the youth camps. And she loved it—being out in the mountains, in fact in the forest surrounded by majestic trees and mountain air and the smells of pine and fir and so much more.
    She had a little cabin all to herself, as an adult female staff member, there without other family around. It was separated from the campers dormitories, away from the highway and the driveway. Tucked into the trees.
    One night she had to get out of bed to use the bathroom. She was used to doing that without turning on a light. There was always some light coming through the window from a safety light, a yard light, a moon, or something. But not this night.
    Bobbi began to get out of bed and opened her eyes. Then she suddenly noticed she couldn’t see anything. Not the bed frame, not the doorways, not the windows, nothing. She put her hand right up to her face and couldn’t see it. It was so disorienting that she was afraid something had happened and she was suddenly completely blind.
    She felt around her bedside table and found her flashlight. Not one of these fancy little LED lights we have all around us now. This was 45 years ago. So she grabbed this flashlight that was about the size of a can of Pam kitchen spray with a light bulb and a reflector and clear glass lens, powered by 2 size D batteries, and she pointed it right at her face, and with her eyes as wide open as she could, in the middle of this darkness, and turned it on.
    WOW did that ever seem bright! So bright that the retinas of her eyes still had the memory of that light when she closed her eyes, at first.

    A little bit of light is a source of great joy

    Well the good news is that Bobbi was not blind and the world had not ended without warning her it would. It was as simple as a power outage because of some work on the supply lines to the camp. And the moon was not in the sky above that night.
    Into her darkness, a light shone, and her fear and confusion turned to clarity and thanksgiving and joy that her eyes were All because she had some light for her darkness.
    Jesus came as the Cure for the Darkness in our world. And he did it because he is the light of the world, he is the source of our Joy as fear and confusion and division are set aside in favor of his Holy Spirit.

    Joy is More than a little light: He is God With Us

    which is good news for a lost and broken world!
    Have you ever had such an overwhelming sense of happiness in something that you wanted to share it with someone, but they didn’t seem to understand why it brought you so much joy? Like Bobbi discovering she wasn’t blind in the darkness of that night. Like trying to explain the joy of life that is possible without the cell phone that so many people are buried in today.
    We are just like every other person of history, so concerned about our own place in the world that if things don’t seem to be right around us, we lose our hope, lose our Joy, and forget to keep loving those around us.
    Not quite Joy, because we are so focused on our problems that we forget to look again to the solution that God provides.
    The good news is that God sees our spiritual need and sends the perfect remedy.
    >>>We read it in
    John 1:14 CSB
    14 The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We observed his glory, the glory as the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    That is Christmas!
    The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
    We observed his glory
    the glory as the one and only Son
    from the Father
    full of grace and truth

    Incarnation means Jesus became human.

    Jesus gave up power to be like us.

    Jesus embraced humanity.

    In taking on flesh and bone,

    Jesus is God with us

    understanding what it means to be human.
    Jesus moved into the neighborhood.
    Jesus made his home in a place marked by injustice and oppression.

    The shepherds were the first

    neighbors to get the announcement of the new baby.

    Jesus’ home with people on the margins was intentional.

    Jesus is God with us and for us.

    Jesus reveals God to humanity in a new way.

    In Jesus we see grace and truth

    In Jesus we see love and faithfulness.

    Jesus builds a bridge between God and humanity.

    Jesus is God With Us, For Us, and Loving Us.

    John 1:4–5 CSB
    4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

    Jesus, Light of the World

    is God with us. Joy to the world!
      • John 1:14GODSWORD

      • John 1:4–5GODSWORD

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