Good morning, and welcome everyone to our church! We are glad you can join us for the first Sunday of Advent, a season when the whole Church anticipates and longs for the coming of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The first Sunday of Advent focuses on the theme of hope. The Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, cried out to God asking for God’s help against Israel’s enemies. He called on God’s lovingkindness and God’s promises to the people of Israel as reasons for God’s help. However, Isaiah says, “You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved (Is. 64:5)?” Isaiah, speaking for Israel, recognized and acknowledged their sins before God, the only one who could help them in their time of need. How then could Israel be saved from their enemies, when they were in sin?
Our great need inspires great hope. When Israel was in great sin, Isaiah cried out, “Your sacred cities have become a desert; even Zion is a desert, Jerusalem a desolation. After all this, O Lord, will you hold yourself back? Will you keep silent and punish us beyond measure (Is. 65:10, 12)?” Will you respond, O God to our great need?
The Christmas season brings great happiness to many as we sing carols, give and receive gifts, and enjoy our friends and families. However, we are also in great need of reasons to sing, in great need of the basic necessities of life, and in great need of friendship in our times of deep distress and dark depression. Praise God, brothers and sisters that God has beautifully and powerfully responded to our great needs with His son, Jesus Christ, the hope of nations, our Messiah. As our great hope, let us spread this Good News that Christ is indeed come with salvation and with hope, amen!
And…After service, a young boy said to the preacher, “When I grow up, I’m going to give you some money.” “Well, thank you,” the preacher replied, “but why?” “Because my father says that you’re one of the poorest preachers we’ve ever had.”