Second Advent Sunday Dec 9 Surprise! The Cost of Christmas

Second Advent Sunday Dec 9  Surprise! The Cost of Christmas

You listen to Brian's sermon here.

Our First Advent service was Dec 2, led by Bishop Paul Barker, and you can read about that here and can listen to his sermon here.

During each Sunday of the Advent season, we focus on one of the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Love, Joy and Peace.

This week the focus was on Love.

Advent Reflection - God is Rich in Mercy and Grace Scripture: Ephesians 2:4-9, Psalm 86:15
The glory of Advent is summed up in the first word in our passage today: but. We were dead in sin, but God intervened. We followed the ways of this world, but God stepped in. We were disobedient and deserved wrath, but God sent His Son.
And this first word is amplified by God’s character throughout our passage today. God doesn’t simply have lots of mercy, but He is rich in mercy. God doesn’t offer just enough love for us to get by, but offers great love to provide for all our needs. God didn’t merely heal us from sickness or injury, but he brings us back from death to make us alive in Christ. And he doesn’t stop there – he offers a seat with Jesus in the heavenly places so that we can continue to experience the exceeding riches of his grace. God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness – and even with that, we’re only scratching the surface.
The first Advent invites us to live out the first word each day. God became flesh, and now the most extravagant things are found in the familiar. God intentionally con-tained his infinite divinity in human flesh to pursue us where we are, and now the everlasting is located in the everyday…
And so, each Advent invites us back to the wonder of the first word again. We are reminded that God works in the routine, that His activity is more often in the mun-dane than the miraculous.
Advent bids us to see his exceeding riches in the fabric of our lives, to be more aware of how grace is nuanced each day. Advent calls us to open our eyes just a bit wider to be more aware of how He’s already moving in and around us…
What are some details in your life that you haven’t shared with God yet?
What miracles seem to be emerging in the monotony around you?
How might God be at work even if you might have missed him at first?
Holy, there is no one like you There is none beside you Open up my eyes in wonder And show me who you are And fill me with your heart And lead me in love to those around me.
Mike Ahn
The Advent Project, Biola University