Big Plans: Cutting Down Trees

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You probably don’t have to struggle too hard to go back to where you went from everything seemingly perfect to falling flat, from well planned to a painful episode. Maybe it is a career trajectory that took a nose dive, a divorce left your wave after wave of friendship lost at sea, or one mistake which leaves you fighting to get back your reputation. Today, we are going to face the wobbling cake moments head on as we continue in our sermon series GREATER THINGS as we look at 2 Kings 6:1-7. We’ve been following the miraculous moments in Elisha’s ministry- as he has confronted false gods, half-hardheartedness, a lack of faith, and today we go from our wreckage to God’s divine recovery plan. Even when it seems impossible.

We don’t oftentimes start off wobbling, we start off with…

BIG PLANS: Cutting Down Trees (2 Kings 6:1-4) The company of the prophets said to Elisha, “Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to meet.” And he said, “Go.” Then one of them said, “Won’t you please come with your servants?” “I will,” Elisha replied. And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. Continue reading “Big Plans: Cutting Down Trees”

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Connection Over Comfort

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Christmas is that special time of year where expectations runs rampant. There is always a transformation that begins after Black Friday. Ordinary kids who can’t find their backpack, shoe, or homework become certified gift-finding specialists. They go from never stepping foot inside the attic or in your closet to roaming around searching for the holy grail of presents. It doesn’t end when the presents are wrapped and placed under the tree. Kids and adults alike become like a bomb sniffing dog—checking the weight, shape, size, and sound trying to judge just how seriously we should take a prospective gift. You see this in the classic movie The Christmas Story, Ralphie wants one thing: an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, BB gun” and before his master plan to get it moves forward he is constantly fantasizing about what life will look like before he has ever held the gift in his hands. He envisioned stepping forward and fighting off Black Bart and his cohort of criminals. Ralphie anticipated the gift, but didn’t fully grasp what it meant!

 

Today we are starting a new advent series looking towards the gift that changed the globe in Jesus Christ. A gift that was wrapped, weighed, and wanted for centuries. Wrapped in hundreds of prophecy, weighed while the Jews faced oppression, and wanted as God seemingly had gone silent for over 400 years. The anticipation was great but what those in the 1st century unwrapped was something they didn’t fully grasp. In fact, we are calling this series Socks and Underwear because when you open a gift and see the first signs of socks, what do you do? Growl and then throw it aside. Yet like socks and underwear, Jesus is the gift that everyone needs, but don’t always seemingly want.

John 1:1 starts to unwrap the the magnitude of what mesmerized the people: In the beginning was the (Logos) word–the Jews viewed the word as the personification of God’s will and revelation while the Gentiles understood the LOGOS as the bridge from the divine to the dust (material world), the word was with God and the word was God. 14 The word became flesh and made its dwelling among us. As we turn to the story of Jesus advent in the Luke 1 starting in verse 26, we find that LOGOS was THEOS and God instead of making:

 

 

Christmas  about comfort, it was always about connection (Luke 1:26-31) 26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” 29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. Continue reading “Connection Over Comfort”