Rev. Dave Rohde
Scripture: Isaiah 40:3-5; John 3:16-21
**video begins about 1/way through video - audio and photos until the technical issues were resolved.**
Pastor Dave's Christmas Warmup:
My parents still live in the same house from my childhood. My dad still spends most of his time in the garage, and my mom still makes all the decisions about decor in the house. "My room" is now the guest room, and my sister's is reserved for the six grandkids. Doris, the next door neighbor, has lived in her house longer than my parents, but the neighborhood has seen plenty of change over the years.
Whenever I visit, all kinds of memories come rushing back...playing hide-and-go-seek at the end of the cut de sac, skateboarding down the hill at the end of the street, all the houses I toilet papered when I was in middle school, and all of the neighbors who have come and gone.
As a kid, it was always a big deal when someone moved in to "our" neighborhood. We'd all ask questions about the family. Do they have kids? What do they like to do? Are they nice? Will they give out good treats on Halloween? Do they put up Christmas lights?
In his translation of Scripture, Eugene Peterson translates John 1:14 this way,
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the
neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
Because of my childhood neighborhood, I've always appreciated Peterson's interpretation of this passage and the incarnation. God, the Creator of the Universe, moving in next door. How would it change the way my friends and I lived our lives? Would we stop in to say hi? Would we "toilet paper" HIS house like the other neighbors? Would the house have good Christmas decorations!?!
This weekend, we're celebrating the reality that Jesus, Word madeflesh, came to earth and lived among us. How would you respond?
Join us as we celebrate this Sunday. At 10am, we'll explore the fourth Sunday of Advent and what it looks like to receive love. At 5:30pm, our kids will tell us the story of Jesus' birth. At 8:00pm, we'll sing carols and celebrate the Light of the World. And, at 10pm, we'll sing carols, hear the story, and celebrate the Lord's Supper.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”