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Sent: Delivering the Gift of Hope at Christmas

11/29/15 – 12/27/15
Every Christmas has within it the possibility of Jesus being born again in our lives and in our world. Historically Jesus’ birth happened once, but spiritually his birth can happen anew for us today. Where does Christ need to be born anew in you this Christmas? Just as God sent Jesus two thousand years ago, now we are being sent to be God’s hand and feet, delivering God’s gift of hope to a world in need. Based on the book of the same name by United Methodist pastor Rev. Jorge Acevedo.

Nov 29 – Jesus Reconciles – Luke 2:8-18
Dec 6 – Jesus Sets us Free – Luke 4:16-19
Dec 13 – Jesus is God with Us – Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 1:23
Dec 20 – Jesus Brings New Life – Ezekiel 37:1-14, Luke 1:35-37
Dec 24 – Jesus, Hope of the World – Luke 2:1-20
Dec 27 – Jesus Changes Everything – John 1:1-14, Galatians 4:4

sent - jesus changes everything

Jesus Changes Everything

The impact of Jesus’ influence on our world cannot be measured. Jesus’ birth changed the whole world. So many things in our own lives happen because of an action that preceded them, and without that action, the future would have been different. My life has also changed by being a follower a Jesus. There are so many experiences that I would not have had if I was not a Christian. (John 1:1-14, Galatians 4:4)

jesus hope of the world

Jesus, Hope of the World

To have hope is to feel that what is wanted can be had. It is to believe in a better future. The opposite then, to not have hope, is to feel that what is wanted cannot be had, that the future is bleak. To feel hopeless is to be without options. It is a dark place to be. (Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-20)

sent - jesus brings new life

Jesus Brings New Life

This Ezekiel scripture with its vision of dry bones is not exactly an obvious scripture for advent. But both scripture passages today are visions of the possibilities of new life, one spoken amongst hopelessness and the other through the giving of an unexpected gift. (Ezekiel 37:1-14, Luke 1:35-37)

sent - jesus is god with us

Jesus is God with Us

God sent Jesus as a baby into the world to be with us. And as he grew up Jesus experienced the same emotions as many of us do. Jesus was with us then, and Jesus is with us now too. If you want to see Christ, then go and look for the church in the world. Look for where God’s people are serving. Because that is where God is. When we do something because of our faith then we become Christ to another. God does not sit idly by. God sends us, lots of us! (Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 1:23)

sent - jesus sets us free

Jesus Sets Us Free

We miss Jesus because we have not understood how God is in our midst. We are blind to the light that is in everyone, and places that are pregnant with new life. We are invited to be a reflection of that light. Changing our perspective to see others as God sees them has power to free and restore communities and us. Jesus came to be a Liberator. He affirms the gifts we each have to participate in God’s work in the world. He calls the unqualified, unlike how we hire for employment. He challenges us to understand ourselves in new ways, so that we can live fully joining in his mission of liberation. (Luke 4:16-19).

sent - jesus reconciles

Jesus Reconciles

Jesus was born in a stable and slept in a manger because it was the only place in a full town that Mary and Joseph could find to stay. At this time of year, my heart especially goes out to those who are homeless. It is hard for us, in our cozy homes, to truly imagine what life is like for those without homes, and we have certain preconceptions. But every now and then we get to understand something in a new way oftentimes when we do something that we do not normally do. (Luke 2:8-18)