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Monthly message

Your Kingdom Come...

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Mark 13:24-27, 32-37 (ESV)

Jesus uses apocalyptic language which means from the Greek word “to reveal.” or uncover in Mark 13:24-37 to make his point that God is coming in a very vivid way. This language keeps the gospel in the indicative “here already”, in the subjunctive “yet to come” and in the imperative “become part of God’s move upon the world”. Jesus language is apocalyptic and affirms that God reign is coming near.

Every Sunday, we pray “Your kingdom come on earth as in heaven.” We pray this both as a petition to God and as a challenge to ourselves. We are to live as those who know the end of the story. Instead of speculation on God’s future time frame, we do know what God is doing now. The near presence of God is not a human product; it is always an undeserved and unexpected gift.

Christ has come, but not in fullness. The kingdom of God has broken in among us, but not yet completely. God is near, but not fully among us. There is still pain and regret, tragedy and tears, and there is more yet to come. But even in our honest recognition of the incompleteness of the world, we have an expectation that rests upon confidence in the ultimate direction of the movement of history.

Every week in the church, we testify to our conviction that all history will be gathered up into the loving grip of Christ, that all things in this world, good and bad, are being drawn toward him, toward final consummation of judgment and mercy of God.

This church and its speech, in all our ambiguity and frailty is by the grace of God with us, a sign, a signal, an instrument of the foretaste to the feast to come, a vanguard, a seed of hope in God’s momentous turn toward us in Christ, of God’s refusal to be God without an audience.
We are a people who know the secret: We desire that God would manifest himself to us and for us, so that all may see. We apply this to the second coming of Christ, when the Lord himself shall descend from heaven.

Our happiness is bound up in what God has designed for us, and is preparing for us. We believe this, and think nothing is too great to expect from God’s truth, power, and love. It is spiritual and beyond our understanding. It is what it is.

It is Advent. Advent is the time of the year in which the coming of Jesus Christ is anticipated. Amen

In Christ,

—Pastor Ernie

news & events

December 20A special presentation of Amahl and the Night Visitors

A special presentation of Amahl and the Night Visitors is coming to St. John’s on Saturday, December 20 at 4:00 pm. This is an opera with a special Christmas story written for children. It is put on by Mosaic Arts, an opera company of Kelly Hutchinson. The performance is 45 minutes. There is no charge but good will donations will be accepted. See the December Proclaimer for more details.

December 21Children’s Christmas Program

Children’s Christmas Program is Sunday, December 21 at 9:30 AM - fellowship hall. Gifts for Center: We are collecting gifts for the Pregnancy Resource Center for Christmas. Bring gifts to the program or to worship that morning and place under the Chrismon trees. The Center needs: diapers (especially newborn, 1’s, 3’s, & 4’s); wipes, and baby products. They do not need any clothing at this time. The gifts do not have to be wrapped.

December 24 Christmas Eve Worship

Prelude Music: 8:30 PM special music with choirs, violin, flute, harpsichord & soloists
Candlelight Worship: 9:00 PM

More News and Events Info
                   

services

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Sunday, December 21 ~ 4th Sunday in Advent

9:30 am Children’s Christmas Program—Fellowship Hall
10:30 am Worship

Wednesday, December 24

8:30 pm Christmas Eve Prelude Music
9:00 pm Traditional Candlelight Worship


Thursday, December 25 ~ Merry Christmas!

Christ is born!
Office closed

Friday, December 26

Office closed

Saturday, December 13

8:00 am Community Breakfast
10:15 am Christian Ed Meeting

Sunday, December 28

9:30 am Sunday School (all ages)
10:30 am Worship ~ Lessons & Carols

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