Christmas Eve is a time when we are especially open to the Good News of Christ’s coming among us. We are more likely to feel the presence of God’s love. But what if Christmas isn’t just an emotional “high point?” What if something decisively changed with the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago? Hear the Christmas story (Luke 2:1-20) and how it can make a difference for you beyond the 12 days of Christmas, in every day of your life.
It is a lot easier to be courageous when you have someone strong on your side. But what if that hoped-for “someone strong” turns out to be a mere baby? Or a criminal hung on a cross? During Advent, we are equipped to be “unafraid,” even in life’s battles. This sermon, from Zephaniah 3:14-20, will give you courage!
Today’s reading from Malachi 3:1-4 prepares the way for Jesus to come at Christmas by calling listeners to repent of their sin, and to be refined and purified by God. Pastor Paige continues our Advent sermon series, “Unafraid," with stories of how our sin persistently clings to us like dust and dirt. The power of darkness wants to keep us afraid. And yet, God is more powerful than sin and death. We can be unafraid because soon and very soon, Jesus will be born. He will come to die for our sins and make us new.
We live in anxious times. We may react with fear, with denial, or with anger. Advent is a season that offers us the hope that no matter how deep the darkness may be, a greater Light is coming. Christians live in the hope of Christ’s eventual return to make all things new, and this means we can face any challenge “unafraid.”
Along with wrapping up the sermon series, “What’s the Point? Living a Life that Matters Eternally,” this day is Christ the King Sunday and the last Sunday in the church year. The gospel reading from John 18:33-37 proclaims that Jesus is our king, and shares the good news that we belong to Jesus’ Kingdom. In this sermon, Pastor Paige also explores the reading from Revelation 1:4-8 and its promise of hope for us and for all who believe in Christ our King.