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Advent Sermon Series

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Advent Sermon Series

Daniel Bonner

Happy New Year my friends!  Advent, beginning this year on
November 27, marks the beginning of a new church year.


The History of Advent

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in penance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for this celebration; originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas.

By the 6th century, however, Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.

Today Advent symbolizes the present situation of the church in these “last days” (Acts 2:17Hebrews 1:2), as God’s people wait for the return of Christ in glory to consummate his eternal kingdom. The church is in a similar situation to Israel at the end of the Old Testament: in exile, waiting and hoping in prayerful expectation for the coming of the Messiah. Israel looked back to God’s past gracious actions on their behalf in leading them out of Egypt in the Exodus, and on this basis, they called for God once again to act for them. In the same way, the church, during Advent, looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in eager anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people. In this light, the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the church’s song during the Advent season.


This year at Church of the Apostles,
our observance of Advent will look like this:

 

 

Advent 1 – November 27
Preacher: Rev. Joe Acanfora

Theme: Faith - (last in the Replant Series: How do we know replanting is from God?) An incarnational God leads an incarnational people.

Faith: Where were the disciples? Where is ours?

Christ Is King, ascended to the Throne of grace, and He’s coming back; Why Stand We Gazing? (Acts 1:11) – Jesus is on the throne and has charged us to go forward in His name, his Kingdom work will be accomplished. We can have faith that he is accomplishing it and he has called us to partner with him. We the Church have a role to play in seeing his Kingdom come to earth as it is in heaven until He returns in Glory.

Readings:
Acts 1:1-11
Gradual/response: Psalm 89:24-29
Gospel: John 17:17-26


Advent 2 – December 4
Preacher: Rev. Joe Acanfora

Theme: Hope – God cares for the least and the lost, including each of us. Our lives matter to God because even the least matter. It is in this economy that all lives matter. But when any people are marginalized, when anyone’s life matters less to us, can all lives matter? Mary’s hope, the hope of the prophets, is in God’s promise that he truly cares, and cared enough to do something about it, send His Son to be our Savior and Lord.

Readings:
Romans 15:4-13
Gradual/responsive: Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38, 46-50 the Annunciation and Song of Mary


Advent 3 – December 11
Preacher: Rev. Joe Acanfora

Theme: Joy – we are called to be joyful people. Enjoying the presence of God within us, exemplifying what he prophesized is coming. This joy is our sustenance for life that no earthly discouragement should overcome. The joy of the Lord is truly our strength.

Readings:
Isaiah 35:1-10
Gradual/responsive: O come o Come Emanuel – VS: 1,2
Gospel: Matthew 1:18-24


Advent 4 – December 18
Preacher: Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs

Theme: Love

Our guest preacher will be Bishop Julian Dobbs, Missionary Bishop of CANA

Gradual/responsive: O come, o Come Emanuel vs 6-7


Christmas Eve – 3:30 PM, Saturday, December 24
Preacher: Rev. Josh Kammerer

A joyful celebration of the Peace of Christ among us with music and dance, praise and scripture, coming together around the Lord’s table in Holy Communion.

Christmas Day, Sunday, December 25, 10 AM, Main Sanctuary at Whole Word fellowship – 1 Service with our hosts at Whole Word celebrating the Faith we share in the Hope, Love, and Peace of Christ,

As a resource for you, we are invited to join in Bishop Dobb’s Advent Devotional Series. Follow the series here or watch the first two episodes below:


Share the peace of Christ while you enjoy the peace of Christ –

In Him,
Joe Acanfora