Which Laws do We Have to Follow?

 In Sermons, Teachings

Debbie Reese - December 10, 2017

The Comfort of Repentance

To Be Continued

How does our preparation for the Christmas season cause us to miss Christ? Often, our lives become cluttered with busyness and sin that keep us from seeing the God who comes to us at Christmas. Both Isaiah and John the Baptist invite us to prepare a path for God in our lives. They insist a call to repent is a comfort for us! How is repentance a sign of God’s comfort during a busy holiday season?

From Series: "To Be Continued"

Advent is the season in which we prepare to welcome Jesus into the world. It's a season of hope - the light has not come, but it is coming into the world. It's the time of day just before the sun peeks over the horizon. As we anticipate Jesus' birth, we come to realize that God's story didn't end at Christmas - it was only beginning. And the story is still being told today - a story of love, hope and promise. What does it mean to say that God is still telling the great story of love through us?

Discussion Guide     Manuscript

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This sermon was written and delivered by Debbie Reese.

Do you remember right before Christmas when the Atlanta airport got shut down? Well that happened right when I first sat down with JR to write this sermon. I remember because I got a text message from my husband: he was stuck in the airport in Atlanta.  He had been in Wisconsin for a business trip and was flying home.  I picked up the phone and called him to get more details; we had plans that evening and wanted to know if i needed to cancel.  He said as he stepped off the airplane the power went out in the airport, came back on and then was off again. They had been sitting for a few hours in the dark waiting and his phone was dying so he couldn’t talk long.

Casey said the longer he sat there with his employee, he looked around at the hundreds and then thousands of people that were stacking up and wondering how and when they were all going to get out of the airport. The tarmack started to pile up with airplanes, security started pushing all of the passengers to gates 1-12 leaving the others open. (fact about how big Atlanta airport is). They were just pushed farther and farther back and piled up and piled up in the dark with fire alarms and sirens going off.

Casey surveyed the situation and thought, “I’m not going to be stuck here at the back behind thousands of people. Once they release us we are all going to be going in one direction and this is going to become even more chaotic.” He told his employee we are getting to the front of  this crowd so we can get out of here as soon as we are able to. They both pushed and worked there way to the front, snuck through the barrier that had been created to keep everyone in just twelve of the terminals and hide behind a pillar and trash can. Casey told his employee, “When they tell us we can go, we are going! Get ready!”

Soon, all of the passengers were released to leave to find a rental car, book a hotel or find a place to stay because no more flights were going out for the day or night.  Casey looked at his employee and said,

Ready? Here we go. We are getting out of here and to daylight as fast as we can. Keep up and let’s get moving!

Whether you’re a Type A commander like my husband or whether you’re the type to sit back and wait for the crowds to disperse, we’ve all been in those stressful situations. And how often do we think, right in the midst of those stresses, “What would Jesus do?” Not often, if we’re being honest. It’s easy to think about Jesus here in Church – this is where Jesus belongs. But what could Jesus possibly have to do with the chaos of the Atlanta airport? Or any of the places in our everyday world where we don’t think Jesus belongs our….workplace, school, neighborhoods, the park, highway 75, restaurants.

The last thing my husband was thinking about while he was in the Atlanta airport was his WWJD bracelet.  He was wanting to get himself and his employee to safety and along the way helped a man that needed helping.

Where does Jesus fit in our everyday lives?

While most of us have a sense that God probably cares about the world outside our Sunday mornings, we struggle to see what practical difference God makes in the busyness of our week.

Transfiguration Sunday is fun. It’s a special day in the life of the Church when we celebrate that God is not only the God of special places and special people. It’s the celebration of the God who cares about Sunday mornings and churches and the Atlanta airport and folks fighting traffic on 75 and kids and parents and teachers and mechanics and fast food workers and stay at home parents and people who don’t have a job right and the old and the young and the insiders and the outsiders and…

You get the idea, right? Transfiguration Sunday is about the God who leaves Heaven to live on the ground with us – the God who brings us freedom.

The question we’ll ask Sunday is: Are we brave enough to live in God’s freedom?

Join us Sunday as we find freedom and hope in the God who is with us.

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