Second Reading: Romans 16:25–27 Paul closes his letter to the Romans by praising God because in the proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ God has revealed the promised, divine plan of salvation for all humanity. Paul proclaims this gospel of Christ in order to bring about the obedience of faith among all nations.
Gospel: Luke 1:26–38 In this annunciation, Luke makes clear that God comes with good news for ordinary people (Mary) from little known places (Nazareth). This king will not be born to royalty in a palace, but to common folk in a stall. Here Luke highlights the role of the Spirit, a special emphasis in his gospel.
Christmas begins with an announcement. We call this the Annunciation. Gabriel comes to Mary with news, but is also in awe of this one who God so favors. “Greetings, O Favored One,” he says to her. Perhaps the news of the coming child is a miracle but so too is the pure faith with which Mary receives this announcement. Truly, the open door of faith opens the way for God’s strongest activity in human history and in human hearts. Perhaps this Christmas we too may find the faith within us to make way for God’s miraculous activity in our lives and among us. It will certainly make this a Merry Christmas.
Message at Good Sam on December 21, “An Open Door Through Which God Enters”
We will be celebrating the feast of Epiphany at Good Sam on January 4 and all children are invited to help us mark the occasion. On Epiphany we remember the journey of the magi to bring gifts to the baby Jesus. We will mark the event again this year with an Epiphany parade.
All Sunday School-age children (and younger) are invited to come dressed as kings, queens, princes, or princesses and process in during the singing of the third Epiphany carol: “We Three Kings”. Instead of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they will present the baby Jesus with non-perishable food items for Our Daily Bread Food Pantry. Please join us for this festive celebration! If you have any questions, speak to Shannon A. or any member of the Worship & Music Team.
Second Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:16–24 Paul concludes his letter to the Thessalonians by encouraging them to live lives of continual joy, prayer, and thanksgiving. The closing blessing is grounded in the hope of Christ’s coming.
Gospel: John 1:6–8, 19–28 John’s gospel describes Jesus as the “light of the world.” John the Baptist is presented as a witness to Jesus, one who directs attention away from himself to Christ, the true light.
Sermon title this Sunday “Rejoice and Shine in the Light”
Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:3–9 As the Christians in Corinth await the advent of Jesus, Paul reminds them how the Lord has already enriched them through spiritual gifts and will continue to strengthen them until the coming day of the Lord.
Gospel: Mark 13:24–37 In today’s reading, Jesus encourages his followers to look forward to the day when he returns in power and glory to end all suffering.
“Stir up your power, O Lord and come,” we hear in Advent. “Come, Lord Jesus. Come, Holy Spirit,” we say as we prepare for Holy Communion. Regularly and persistently we call upon the Lord to come among us in a way that makes a difference. The term for this beseeching is intercession. Oh how God must long for our attention that we may receive the blessings intended for us. Let us together this Advent call upon the Lord while he may be found.
Sermon title this Sunday “A Vigilant Faith” (Sorry, this audio file did not get created)
Sermon title “Stories of Faith Walking Together – with Drew Hartigan“
Second Reading: Ephesians 1:15–23 In this passage, God is praised for revealing ultimate divine power in raising Jesus from the dead. The resurrected, exalted Christ is Lord both of the church and the entire universe, now and in the age to come.
Gospel: Matthew 25:31–46 Jesus compares himself to a king who moves among his subjects to see how he is treated: what is done for the least of those who belong to his family is truly done for him.
…from Worship at Good Sam on November 16, 2014
Ephesians 2:4-10 (NIV)
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Message “Grace Abounds in Community: Entertaining “Angels” Unawares”