MISSION WOODS CHURCH
Worship. Sunday December 5, 2021
      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
      • Bible Trivia
        Loading...
      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
      • Bible Trivia
        Loading...
  • Let's Worship and Adore Him
  • Candles Glowing, Promise Showing
  • Good Christian Men Rejoice (In Dulci Jubilo)
  • It Came Upon The Midnight Clear (Carol)
  • Hark The Herald Angels Sing (Mendelssohn)
      • Isaiah 64:1–9ESV

  • Have You Prepared? Really?

    Does anyone here know the Boy Scout Motto?
    “Be Prepared.” That’s right.
    Growing up in my journey through the scouting ranks I had the opportunity to see some amazing preparedness. I still remember on one particular hike one of the scouts back packs losing a pin that held the bag on the frame. Something that is not normal. Gathered around the scout and the failed backpack, together we tried to come up with a hack to last for the rest of the week. My friend Jeff walks up, and says, “Oh, I have one of those!” A few seconds later he pulls from his pack a cotter pin and ring just like the one that had held the bag to the frame before. Who has those? After that, we all did. Another time, arriving at a lake where the mosquitoes were unusually plentiful one member of our group pulled from his pack a hat complete with mosquito netting to cover his face and neck.
    What made both of these finds unusual was that they happened on our week hikes. Our goal for our packs on these treks would be to have as light of a pack as possible to carry over the 50 miles we would travel. Yet, these two were prepared.
    Our passage this Sunday, speaks of preparedness. Drew, if you would come forward and read for us our passage:
    Luke 3:1–6 ESV
    In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”
    A reading from the Gospel of Luke,
    Thanks be to God.

    Have You Prepared? Really?

    When the old Christendom spoke of the coming again of the Lord Jesus, it always thought first of all of a great day of judgment. And as un-Christmas-like as this idea may appear to us, it comes from early Christianity and must be taken with utter seriousness.… The coming of God is truly not only a joyous message, but is, first, frightful news for anyone who has a conscience. And only when we have felt the frightfulness of the matter can we know the incomparable favor. God comes in the midst of evil, in the midst of death, and judges the evil in us and in the world. And in judging it, he loves us, he purifies us, he sanctifies us, he comes to us with his grace and love. He makes us happy as only children can be happy.
    We have become so accustomed to the idea of divine love and of God’s coming at Christmas that we no longer feel the shiver of fear that God’s coming should arouse in us. We are indifferent to the message, taking only the pleasant and agreeable out of it and forgetting the serious aspect, that the God of the world draws near to the people of our little earth and lays claim to us.
    Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “The Coming of Jesus in Our Midst”
    As quoted from: God is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas (Day Four: An Un-Christmas-Like Idea)
    He’s right, isn’t he? When we think of Christmas and the Advent Season, as we reflect on the birth of our Savior and say we expectantly await his return, we tend to think of all the warm fuzzies of Jesus’ return. We put far from our mind that is will first of all be a great day of judgment.
    Perhaps it’s because we focus on the birth narratives and not the end of the Gospels.
    Matthew 25:31–32 ESV
    “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
    Is the Gospel Good News? Absolutely!
    Why? Because it means Jesus will come Heb 9:28 “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.”
    And so we must ask ourselves what does it mean to be “eagerly waiting for him”?
    In our passage this morning, John the Baptist quotes Isaiah, “Prepare the way of the Lord,…and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
    Yet too many in our culture have glibly taken this to mean that “everyone will be saved.” I do not know how anyone even remotely familiar with the Bible can draw this as a conclusion. Even movies in our pop culture have portrayed the “End Days” as days of great judgment, but they have made it a sort of fairy tale, not truth which we hold to.
    Throughout the Scriptures from the beginning we have God choosing between one group of people and another. Noah’s family over everyone else that lived on the earth at the time! Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, (the people of Israel) etc.
    David - who demonstrated so well that though we sin, we too can be people after God’s own heart. How? By seeking God, repenting, and seeking to glorify God in what we do.

    Have You Prepared? Really?

    One of the ways we prepare is to take the time to examine ourselves. To honestly see ourselves, and not just as we see ourselves, but how others see us: being accountable to one another.
    Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24,
    Matthew 5:23–24 ESV
    So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
    We need to be reconciled one to another.
    Yet, it’s even bigger than that. We need to see ourselves as God sees us. Jesus said, in Matthew 5:17-18,
    Matthew 5:17–18 ESV
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
    God’s call on us to be Holy remains. Be holy for I am Holy, God says.
    Now it can be easy to get down on ourselves for thinking wrong, but it’s been this way. Think about how the people were thinking of their Messiah.
    A great king, born in a palace, restore Israel to its proper place.
    Instead he was born in a barn and his first crib was a feeding trough, his earthly parents were not of means but poor, and his birth was not announced with trumpet fanfare from the palace to the great leaders of the area, but by angels to the shepherds out in the field. He wasn’t born in Jerusalem - the city of the great king! No, he was born in Bethlehem, and grew up in Nazareth. “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” someone would later ask.

    Have You Prepared? Really?

    As we approach Christmas, and on this day as we approach communion, we need to ask ourselves, Have we prepared?
    The Prophet Isaiah as quotes in our reading today:
    “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” - Allow Jesus straight into your heart. Don’t pretend what you know to be sin isn’t. Confess it and seek to follow Jesus.
    Every valley shall be filled and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough places shall become level ways, and all flesh shall see the salvation of God!”
    As we prepare for communion this morning, I want to invite you to prepare. To prepare for Communion, for Christmas, and for Jesus return. Will you join me in this prayer of Confession:
    God of the future,
    you are coming in power to bring all nations under your rule.
    We confess that we have not expected your kingdom,
    for we live casual lives, ignoring your promised judgment.
    We accept lies as truth,
    exploit neighbors,
    abuse the earth,
    and refuse your justice and peace.
    In your mercy, forgive us.
    Grant us wisdom to welcome your way,
    and to seek things that will endure when Christ comes to judge the world.
    Hear the good News!
    Every valley is lifted up; every mountain, made low.
    Now the Glory of the Lord is revealed, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
    In the Name of Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. AMEN!
    Communion
      • Luke 3:1–6ESV

      • Matthew 25:31–32ESV

      • Matthew 5:23–24ESV

      • Matthew 5:17–18ESV

  • A Communion Hymn For Christmas
  • What Can I Give Him
      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.
  • Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
      • Download

        2 Cents a Meal Offering

        December 9, 2018 - 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM
        This offering goes towards providing food for those in need. It supports our local foodbank.

Let us get to know you!

Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
Age:
How did you hear about us?