That’s what Advent is about. For many of us, waiting is the last thing we want to do, but Advent is about a certain kind of waiting – waiting in hope. Perhaps a better word is awaiting.
Advent is the celebration of those who are awaiting the coming of King Jesus for the redemption of all that is lost. Obviously, we’re nearly two thousand years beyond the first advent of Jesus – the first season of waiting for the coming of the Messiah. And now, around the Christmas holiday, we commemorate the first season of waiting by acknowledging that we again await, with hope, the second advent of Jesus to renew and restore all things.
So it’s a good kind of waiting. We believe the King is coming, so we wait, hopefully, for him to arrive. And in the meantime, we get to love him, ourselves, and others the way he does and share the reason for the hope that is in us.
This week’s featured message idea is based on the gospel reading from the Second Sunday in Advent in the Lectionary for this coming weekend. It’s about the grant announcement that John the Baptist offered, which Jesus then echoed.
The kingdom of God is near. Therefore, repent!
And perhaps there is more to this announcement than we’ve ever recognized.
In the meantime, keep growing!
This Week’s Big Sermon Idea
The Kingdom of God is Near
Based on Matthew 3:1-12
The gospel changes everything! Jesus’ good news that the kingdom of God is near is the most radical, world-changing message ever revealed by God, and the best response we can give is to repent – to embrace the complete change of mind, heart, and soul that entering and understanding God’s kingdom requires. When you’re ready to embrace a whole new life, enter a redeemed community, and engage the world with an entirely new mindset, the doors to the kingdom of God remain open for you!
Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass
My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:
From the Description:
This four-week series deals with the stress, weariness, and busyness that can come with the Christmas season. Through understanding that Christ is the reason for this time, the giver of rest, and the Prince of Peace, we can find strength for a weary world.
Exiles in Babylon: Theology in the Raw Conference
March 23-25, 2022 (Boise, ID)
To be a Christian is to be an exile. The Bible has a name for the country we’ve been exiled to: Babylon. As exiles living in Babylon, we need to think biblically, Christianly, indeed exilically—not partisanly—through cultural and political issues. This year, our topics include: The Future of the Church, Disability and the Church, Multiethnic Perspectives of American Christianity, a conversational debate on the Problem of Evil, and a pre-conference symposium on Women in Leadership!
Links and Resources for Pastors and Church Leaders
Links to resources I have found helpful, inspiring, thought-provoking, and sometimes entertaining.
- BOOK (I’m Reading): Love Matters More: How Fighting to Be Right Keeps Us from Loving Like Jesus
By Jared Byas
- BOOK: The Anticipated Christ: A Journey Through Advent and Christmas
By Brian Zahnd
- ARTICLE: 5 Ways Pastors Make Ministry Harder Than It Needs to Be
By Carey Nieuwhof
- VIDEO: 4 Questions to Help You Plan a Year of Preaching
By Brandon Kelley
- RESEARCH: Pastors Say Christmas Eve Is the Most-Attended Holiday Service
From LifeWay Research
- ARTICLE: 6 Principles for Getting People to Work Together
By Rick Warren
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About the Cover Art: Bruegel, Pieter, 1564-1638. Saint John the Baptist Preaching to the Masses in the Wilderness, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.