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ADVENTure: Week 1

ADVENTure: Week 1

  1. Introduction
    1. Starting a new series this morning called ADVENTure—
      1. It’s Christmas season!— love, hate, tolerate
      2. What if Christmas this year could be some thing more—enjoyed, not enjoyed, endured
      3. This series is about understanding that Christmas, the season of Advent, becomes an adventure in our lives when we open ourselves to God’s plan in the midst of chaos.
  2. Luke 1:5-7
    1. Remember Luke was a doctor, so his account always includes these little details the other gospels don’t have— Z and E were “righteous in God’s sight”— examples of genuine faith
    2. But to be barren was to be a spiritual defect in the woman— she is disgraced because others would have seen her as a perpetual “sinner”— but Luke specifically points out, that is not so
    3. Not to mention the disappointment Z would be experiencing— no heir and heirs were everything
    4. Maybe that’s you this morning— feel “spiritually defective”, carry some kind of “disgrace” around your neck, disappointment about life… (This story is for you this morning)
  3. Luke 1:8-17
    1. The Adventure of Christmas transforms our disappointment into hope
      1. What a day for Zechariah! I mean he’s already in the middle of this once in a lifetime opportunity as a priest, but then an angel shows up with some incredible news— “you prayer has been answered”— what prayer— for a son (as a man), for the messiah (as a Jew)— 1 day, 1 visit, 2 prayers answered
      2. Incredible significance— 400 years of silence, no prophets, no words from the Lord, absolute silence, and then boom, right here in this moment that silence is broken
      3. God has renewed His work among His people, and the disappointment Zechariah has felt in life has been transformed into a new sense of hope, hope for son, and hope for the coming Messiah
  4. Luke 1:18-22
    1. The Adventure of Christmas transforms our disbelief into faith
      1. Recap
      2. While at first glance, Gabriel’s words can seem like a punishment, we might also read them as an invitation. The content of the angel’s message is about the fulfillment of God’s word. God’s faith in Zechariah is enough, even when Zechariah’s faith falters.
      3. We see this in Zechariah’s life. In the time of silence in which Zechariah was unable to speak, something changes within him. We see him go from being a person who argued with the angel that he was simply an old man with an old wife, to one who offers a song proclaiming praise, salvation, and freedom (later on in Luke 1). We see him move from disbelief to faith. (But what about Elizabeth, his wife, the one barren and disgraced?)
  5. Luke 1:23-25
    1. The Adventure of Christmas transforms our disgrace into joy Recap::
      1. Could you imagine being in Elizabeth’s place? Could you imagine the joy that she must have felt? Her whole adult life she is judged by others as a perpetual sinner, spiritually defective, because of something that she has no control over. Maybe you could? Have you ever been judged unfairly by others, criticized unfairly by others?
      2. Or maybe your “disgrace” is real, that sin, that addiction, that lust, that greed, that malice, that past, whatever it is— you carry it with you day in and day out, publicly, privately, and ways you down. You can’t seem to get rid of it. This moment is for you. That in the Adventure of Christmas our disgrace is turned into joy, because the God’s grace is always available. Some of you need to hear that this morning, so let me say it again— God’s grace is always available.
    2. Conclusion
      1. Where in your life has disappointment, disbelief, or disgrace defined your life? Where do you need to let the arrival of Jesus, transform your faith, transform your hope, and/or transform your joy?
      2. Make this holiday season something more than it ever has been before, by allowing God to transform your disappointments, your disbelief, and your disgrace into the adventure that he is calling you to be a part of.

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Kingdom Come: Week 6ADVENTure: Week 2

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