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Coming Home: GOD MAKES THIS WORLD OUR HOME

Are we willing to receive Christ into our hearts? And are we willing to live with Mary’s courage? Can her song be our song too? Can we refuse to give into the fear that the world screams constantly into our lives? Can we reject the notion that everything is spinning out of control, and embrace that the world is simply about to turn, just as God intends it? Can we admit that there are things about our world that need to be turned upside down for the sake of others?
 


View the Advent 2017 Coming Home Series Overview »

    References:

  • 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16
  • Luke 1:47-55 (UMH199)
  • Romans 16:25-27
  • Luke 1:26-38

Coming Home: A MANGER FOR THE WORLD

There is only one home that is permanent, and that is the home we make with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate tonight, and whose coming again we will not fear, but rather, will look for with the hope of Joseph, and the joy of Mary, and the curiosity and conviction of the Magi, and the boldness of the shepherds in the field. Let us gather around the manger. Let us gather around the Table of our Lord.


View the Advent 2017 Coming Home Series Overview »

    References:

  • Isaiah 9:2-7
  • Psalm 96 (UMH 815)
  • Titus 2:11-14
  • Luke 2:1-20

Coming Home: GOING HOME AGAIN

As we move into the next season and our next series, we will join Anna in the work of evangelism: proclaiming to all the world that God sent Jesus into the world for the salvation of all. Let us give thanks to God for the showing forth of Christ in this world and for his showing forth in our own lives. And let us not leave our light to dwindle, but rather, let us, like Simeon and Anna, go forth to shine anew because the light of Christ has come into the world, and the darkness can never put it out.


View the Advent 2017 Coming Home Series Overview »

    References:

  • Isaiah 61:10-62:3
  • Psalm 148 (UMH 861)
  • Galatians 4:4-7
  • Luke 2:22-40

Rise Up! — GOD IS SPEAKING 

The opening movement in our full service order can be an effective overture for this service and series. It announces the series theme (Rise up!) and introduces a recurring feature of this series, the spoken word contributions of The Rev. B. Kevin Smalls. 


View the Season after Epiphany Rise Up! Series Overview »

    References:

  • Epiphany Sunday
  • Isaiah 60:1-6
  • Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 (UMH 795)
  • Ephesians 3:1-12
  • (more...)

Rise Up! — LISTEN 

The second week of this epiphany series leads us to the theme of listening. Listening, of course, is a critical part of the Christian path. There are many angles in which to approach this theme of listening. This week, we encounter a text where the Word of the Lord is rare, but God’s voice emerges as God attempts to get Samuel’s attention. 


View the Season after Epiphany Rise Up! Series Overview »

    References:

  • 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
  • Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 (UMH 854)
  • 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
  • John 1:43-51

Rise Up! — MOVE 

The core response to today’s theme is found in the prayers of the people. Prayer becomes the primary way we begin to embody the action of “Move” in worship today. We pray with people who must move, or are called to move, or who by their position are involved in moving others. We also pray for ourselves, for the Spirit’s work to move us all from captivity to sin toward perfection in love in this life. We posit this as a possible altar call, a call to come forward to pray, as the response to the bidding prayer shifts from unison spoken response to ensemble and congregational singing.


View the Season after Epiphany Rise Up! Series Overview »

    References:

  • Jonah 3:1-5, 10
  • Psalm 62:5-12 (UMH 787)
  • 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
  • Mark 1:14-20