Highland Avenue Community Church of the Nazarene in Rancho Cucamonga, California

Ancient Words… Current Hope

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http://www.highlandave.org/audio/120113message.mp3

Pastor John Watkin

Sermon outline is available for download (Microsoft Word file) – Click Here

THE FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

This Sunday is the first of four Sundays in Advent. Advent is a Latin word that means “coming.” This refers to the coming of Jesus Christ, God’s Son to our world at Christmas.

Our Advent message series this year is called, “The Stable Influence.” The influence of the birth of Jesus in the Bethlehem stable can hardly be calculated. It marks the moment when God stepped into human history and became, “Immanuel” or “God with us.”

A Christmas card I received summed up the influence of this event with these words…

“Christmas is love tugging you back to God with the powerful clasp of a tiny hand reaching out from a bed of straw.”

We will be lighting the Hope Candle of the Advent Wreath that is also know as the Prophet’s Candle by tradition. It reminds us of hope the prophets shared that God would send the promised Messiah… the Christ.

This week’s message is entitled, “Ancient Words… Current Hope.” The prophecy we’re going to look at comes from the Prophet Isaiah. If you have ever listened to or sung Handel’s Messiah, this verse sings itself!

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV):

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Christmas is a time when many experience a heightened awareness of the spiritual dimension of life. On Sunday we will consider what this Christmas card from Isaiah, sent so long ago, says to us today?

What current hope does it hold for us as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Who is the promised, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace?

This year we are offering a free Advent devotional guide entitled, Advent: A Calendar of Devotions by Deborah Westbrook.

You are invited to pick up your copy in the church foyer or from the church office. The book features an inspirational devotion for each day in Advent.

Here are the daily scripture readings for the First Week of Advent.

  • December 1: Romans 15:12-13
  • December 2: Micah 5:1-15
  • December 3: Psalm 42:1-8
  • December 4: Mark 1:1-3
  • December 5: Psalm 24
  • December 6: Zephaniah 3:14-18a
  • December 7: Matthew 1:18-25

 

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