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Lightbearers: the foremothers of Christ (Advent 2019)

Advent is a four-week season of preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ birth at Christmas, much like Lent before Easter. Advent means “coming” or “arrival.” In the ancient church this season was set aside as a time of fasting, prayer, and generosity as believers consciously prepared themselves for the future advent of Christ, even as they prepared to celebrate the past advent of Christ. This year, we will be taking some time during the four weeks of Advent to prepare ourselves for the future coming of Christ by reflecting on the ways God used specific people in specific times to preserve the covenant between God and his people.

Advent is a season of anticipation, hope, and comfort; but it is also a season of waiting, lament, and darkness (“a light shines in the darkness”). We are, naturally and appropriately, excited about the coming of Christmas (and, hopefully, for Christ’s return!); but at the same time we recognize with an appropriate sorrow that things are not the way they are supposed to be.

For many, the holiday season is a time that highlights their loneliness, anxiety, family strife, broken relationships, unemployment, failed goals, and depression. Allowing Advent to speak to the ways in which the Kingdom of God, while begun in Jesus, is not yet fully realized until Christ comes again can bring comfort to people who are suffering.

In this sense, the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary as mentioned in the Gospel of Matthew are especially appropriate for the season of Advent. All five of these stories are of women in difficult situations, on the margins of society: widows, prostitutes, gentiles, abandoned, childless, poor. But God ends up using their stories of darkness to preserve the covenant when it is under threat. In that way, the Gospel of Matthew uses the stories of these women to lay a groundwork for us as to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus

April 7, 2019

Listening to Jesus

Pastor: Amanda Bakale Series: Journey with Jesus (Lent 2019) Passage: Luke 10:38–10:42

March 31, 2019

Self-Serving Religion. Where is Your Heart?

Pastor: Carel Geleynse Series: Judges Passage: Judges 17:1–18:31

March 31, 2019

True Fasting

Pastor: John Medendorp Series: Journey with Jesus (Lent 2019) Passage: Isaiah 58:1–58:12

March 24, 2019

Trees, Grace, and Short Men

Pastor: Amanda Bakale Series: Journey with Jesus (Lent 2019) Topic: Grace Passage: Luke 19:1–19:10

March 17, 2019

Blind Justice

Pastor: John Medendorp Series: Judges Passage: Judges 13:1–16:31

March 17, 2019

Righteousness and the Face of God

Pastor: Carel Geleynse Series: Journey with Jesus (Lent 2019) Passage: Psalm 11:1–11:7

March 10, 2019

Desiring God

Pastor: John Medendorp Series: Journey with Jesus (Lent 2019) Passage: Matthew 5:8

March 3, 2019

The Mountain Man

Pastor: John Medendorp Series: Judges Passage: Judges 10:6–12:7

March 3, 2019

The Power of Love

Pastor: Carel Geleynse Topic: Service Passage: Matthew 20:20–20:28, Philippians 2:1–2:11

February 24, 2019

Be a Blessing

Pastor: Carel Geleynse Series: God's Love, Our Love (Epiphany) Passage: Psalm 104:1–1, Psalm 104:5, Psalm 104:10, Psalm 104:19, Psalm 104:24, Psalm 104:30–104:35

Old Testament