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.
How can we become people who truly walk in love? In a world filled with distractions, that offers us so many different ideas about what “the good life” is, how can we live in a way that makes an eternal difference? Only God can accomplish this in us. The good news is that he wants to do this for us! The hard news is that the way he does it is not always easy. In this sermon based on Hebrews 12:1-2, 7-13, Pastor Eric challenges us not to look only for changes in our circumstances, but to be open to God changing our character.
Admittedly, today’s sermon starts on a grim note, right out of our reading from Hebrews 9:24-29: we will all one day die. But this isn’t a doom and gloom sermon! Today, we start a three-week series called “What’s the Point,” looking at how we can live lives that have eternal significance. We are encouraged by the “last things” (the hope of salvation beyond death), even as we are challenged to keep the “first things” (love for God and for each other) first.