12/18/22 Weekly Worship – 4th Sunday of Advent

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We are glad that you are here this morning. We hope this time of worship nurtures
your faith enlivens your spirit and engages your mind as we celebrate God’s
love and healing for the world with the resurrection of Christ, our Risen Lord.

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Then grab your Bible, a cup of tea, or coffee, and prepare your heart for worship.

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December 18, 2022 – 4th Sunday of Advent
Rev. Denise Clark-Jones

“Ahaz, Joseph and the Big”

On this fourth Sunday of Advent, the Scripture readings point to the faithful responses of God’s people as they await their coming Savior, Jesus Christ. In our reading from Isaiah, King Ahaz of the Northern Kingdom of Israel has rejected God’s command not to make an alliance with Assyria, even though God has offered Ahaz a sign to assure him God will protect Israel.  So, God gives a sign to the “house of David” that future generations of Israelites will be protected by a king who has not yet been born. The psalmist implores God to protect Israel and in return, the people will be faithful. In Paul’s letter to the Roman congregation, he introduces himself as a servant of God in continuity with the prophets of the Hebrew scriptures. He expresses his hope that the congregation will be recipients of God’s grace and peace, “shalom,” which is the Jewish idea of being in right relationship with God. Matthew’s Gospel highlights Joseph’s righteousness. He refuses to expose Mary to public shame and is obedient to God’s instructions. Joseph’s grace and faithfulness allow God’s story to continue to the birth of Jesus, our Emmanuel—God with us.


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