December 4, 2016

Sermon Message by Rev. Dr. Parrish Bridges

The Transforming Faith of Advent

Bible Texts:  Isaiah 11:1-10 and Matthew 3:1-12

Sermon Message overview . . .

I find it a little odd that John the Baptist always shows up every Advent. When I think of “good news” and “glad tidings,” I must admit that John does not come to mind. When he proclaimed good news to the people, it didn’t sound like good news. It sounded like judgment instead.  

But, Christmas was never meant to be about judgment. I think the season of Advent is more about receiving the greatest gift the world has ever known as well as it being an opportunity for all of us to live into real change and transformation.    

When Isaiah wrote his prophecy, it was a frightening time for the Hebrew people. In fact, it was real frightening. It felt like they were going to be devoured by the Assyrian armies who were about to invade like hungry wolves.  

There is no escaping the wolf, not even during this Advent season. Why? It is because the wolf lives inside your own soul and you have to deal with it if you are going to “prepare the way of the Lord” and be able to do it even as John the Baptist proclaims.

The message on this 2nd Sunday of Advent will explore ways in which we live out our transformational faith. That’s why we come to worship. We encounter God’s Word about who we are and how we can live. In fact, you cannot stand regularly in the presence of God without being changed.