Prior to the revision of the church year and lectionary, the Fourth Sunday of Advent really was "Christmas" Sunday in many Protestant churches. Lections were changed, Christmas hymns and carols were sung, and sermons were oriented toward the celebration of Christmas rather than toward Advent. It was almost as if there were two celebrations of Christmas; people could take their choice of attending one or the other - or both - of the Christmas services. Such practices were a natural outgrowth of interpreting Advent as a time to prepare for "the birth of Christ in our hearts" at Christmas.
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Contents “The Nurturing Trait of Faith” by Keith Wagner “Destinations Unknown” by Keith Wagner
The Nurturing Trait of Faith by Keith Wagner Psalm 67
When Paul met up with Lydia and some other women who were praying and worshipping in Philippi, they were inspired by his words. Lydia was baptized and insisted that Paul be a guest in her home, signifying her passion for the faith.
Perhaps on this holiday weekend, which culturally marks the beginning of summer, it is right for us to think of the image of coming and going. People traditionally do a lot of coming and going during the summer. The change in season combines with the relief from school schedules to make it rather common for folks to do much of their traveling and vacationing during the summer months. You and I as pastors will no doubt have to endure a lot of coming and going that may reflect itself in a dip in attendance.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.” (v. 26)
I am so glad to see you this morning. Know why? It's a time for worship. And more than that, I get to tell you good news. The good news from John's gospel today, is about a very special friend who is here with us today.
But first, how many of you have friends? (children respond)
Jenny was having fun. Her friend Martha had brought a graphical calculator into school. Martha had borrowed the calculator from her older brother, who used it for his advanced maths. He'd been off school for a week, so Martha had figured he wouldn't need his calculator for a while. She and Jenny had soon discovered a great bowling game hidden in the depths of the calculator, and Jenny, to her excitement had just reached level three.