The Trouble with Holes

The next stop in our journey of understanding in a bit more detail just what we believe as followers of Jesus isn’t an easy one. This is going to be one of the more difficult conversations we’ve had together. This isn’t a fun subject. But it’s one we have to talk about or else we run the risk of missing out on something absolutely essential to a relationship with Jesus. This week we are talking about sin. Hang on tight and stay tuned for what comes next. This one is hard, but it gets a whole lot better.

The Trouble with Holes

Have you ever been in a deep pit, but managed to pull yourself out of it? I remember crawling over and around and through some boulders at a park somewhere near Gettysburg, PA on a family vacation when I was growing up. We were playing tag or something with some other kids and I went into a passage that was pretty narrow. I remember crawling in and thinking, “I’m not going to be able to get through this.” Thinking about it today still makes me feel claustrophobic and panicky. Fortunately, I managed to stay calm then and squeeze through the passage to get out the other side.

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Morning Musing: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

No sermon for you this morning. Yesterday we celebrated Christmas together during our morning worship in lieu of our usual choir cantata. It was different from the norm as is the rule of the day, but it was a wonderful time of worship together. Here’s the link if you’d like to watch it. What we are going to do this morning instead of the usual sermon (we’ll continue our series, All Planned Out, next week) is continue in our Advent journey together. This week, we are talking about peace. What exactly is peace and what does it mean that Jesus is the prince of it? Let’s dig in together.

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Morning Musing: Isaiah 53:4-5

“Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever set out down a path you knew wasn’t going to end well? Or, let me change that just a bit. Have you ever set out down a path that you knew was going to eventually have a good ending, but the journey to get there was going to be exceedingly difficult? When God the Son left His throne in heaven and came to earth as a baby, He knew just what He was getting into. How do we know? Because He told us long before He got here. Isaiah tells us about it in this passage.

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Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There has been a bit of a rash of babies being born where I live lately. Babies are born all the time, but I can quickly think of four that have arrived in the last couple of weeks in our little community. (In case you’re curious, girls are winning three-to-one.) The birth of a child is always a moment primed with hope and expectation. The possibilities before that little one are literally endless. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child whose expectations were even higher than usual.

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Morning Musings: Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign: See, the virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes, the same scene, viewed through two different lenses, can look very different. You’ve perhaps heard or even witnessed something like this before. You see a man push an old woman down in the middle of the street. What should we think? If that’s all we know, then he’s a scoundrel. If, however, he is doing it to get her out of the way of an oncoming car, he’s a hero. What we see here in Isaiah is subject to the same sort of interpretive conundrum.

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