Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11 Psalm 126 I Thessalonians 5:16-24 John 1:6-8, 19-28
Our worship theme for today will focus on the Gospel of John and the prophecy of Isaiah. You might want to read those two passages of Scripture before arriving at worship today. You will also find them listed as a ‘live event’ on your youversion.com app along with some other elements that will enhance your worship today. Simply download the 'Holy Bible' app on your web enabled device, open the app and click on 'live', then search for a live event by entering our 80919 zip code. You will see us listed by the December 11, 2011 date. Give it a try!
Let’s make a quick visit to Thessalonica today. Do you know anyone who lives there? Have you ever visited? Just make your way to the northernmost point of the Mediterranean Sea and you will be in the port of Thessaloniki. It is a beautiful city with a volcanic history. But today we are not thinking about volcanic action or romantic seas. We are thinking about our Road to the Manger. How will an ancient city in Greece help us arrive in Bethlehem?
Once again we give thanks for the writings of Paul. This time he is assisted in his conversation by his friends Timothy and Silas. They were quite a missionary team!
This section is simply identified as ‘final instructions’ but in today’s language we would call them bullet points. It is the trio’s way of saying good-bye, don’t forget your sisters and brothers, and by the way, remember the key elements of Christian behavior.
The bullet points are critically important to our journey. Don’t miss them. But our focus is on the benediction in verse 23. Benediction— that is just a long Latin sounding word that means ‘good word.’
Paul, Silas, and Timothy must have agreed on the good word that would close the letter. “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now that is a good word. Would you like to be blameless in your spirit, soul and body at the coming of our Lord? Remember two of our Advent themes are waiting and preparation. We wait with a spirit of hope. We are prepared through our faith in Jesus Christ. The Road to the Manger is filled with bullet points, schedules, details, and even some difficulties. But “the one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”
Log on to www.wilsonumc.org to listen to the message for today. I comes from John 1 and is called "Behold, the Lamb of God"