THE THRILL OF HOPE, THE WEARY WORLD REJOICES
Wednesday, November 30, 2022
Read: Matthew 3:1-6
The Proclamation of John the Baptist
While John was a baby in his mother Elizabeth’s womb, Mary, pregnant with Jesus came to visit. Elizabeth tells Mary, ‘For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.’ (Luke 1:44). That child is John the Baptist.
We meet John the man in Matt 3:1-6, proclaiming the Lord will arrive in Judea and all should prepare themselves by repenting from their sinful ways.
Wait, John lived in the wilderness, consumed locust and wild honey, wearing clothes made of camel hair with a leather belt around his waist. Would this not cause one to pause, to see such a strangely dressed man who lives in the wilderness? And yet the scripture says “Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region around the Jordan were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins.”
What is it that draws the people to John? Why him?
I believe the answer began in Elizabeth’s womb, when John as an infant jumped in his mother’s womb. John believed from the beginning of his life that Mary was pregnant with the Messiah, Jesus, and that one day we would be reconciled with God. So, why the people’s belief in John? I believe it was due to his countenance and not his clothing. Those that came and heard the “wilderness John” proclaim Jesus’ arrival to Judea could feel John’s belief in his words and his simplicity of living. John needed only what would sustain him to wait on the Lord while being an Active disciple of the Good News!
Let us pray, in this season of Advent, we come thanking you for the Good News heard from the wilderness for all to hear. We thank you for the joy that makes us jump at the sound of your name Jesus. We are traveling through times of great temptation and inhumanity and yet we hear the yet still voice within us ‘‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.” And we yield to your ways. Pour into us an extra portion of you during this season as we actively pursue your ways. In Jesus’ precious name we pray. Amen
Certified Lay Minister
Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Read: Matthew 3:7-12
John the Baptist Prepares the Way to Jesus
We are committed to obeying all of God’s commands:
After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him a voice from heaven said “This is my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with Him.”
All three persons and yet one in essence. God the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus. God is one, yet in three persons at the same time. Turn from your sins and turn to God.
Isaiah 11:1-5 - Uloma Nathan-Igwe
Monday, November 28, 2022
Read: Isaiah 11:1-5
Like many of us who work with bosses. Imagine having a boss who is patient, kind, wise, faithful and always had the employees’ best interest at heart. What if following the directives of this boss leads to more peace than you can think is possible? If you are like me, I would follow this boss. Prophet Isaiah tells of such a boss who will not lord his position over us but the Lord who will die to save us.
Our text presents us with a Messiah that would come in a very obscure way-a shoot from the stump (vs 1)- signifying His humble beginning, who judges with righteousness (Isaiah 11:3–4) and eventually restores creation to its original state in the garden of Eden. it also predicts a time when the world will be immersed in the knowledge of God. As the waters cover the sea, so shall the knowledge of God cover the earth. This all-encompassing, inescapable knowledge of God will bring a complete and lasting peace.
In a profoundly awesome humility Jesus came as one of us in order to make us one with Him. Are we learning that His power is perfected in our weakness? With all that is going on in our lives, community and the world today we ought to put our trust in the one who loves and cares for us. Let us not lose focus on the reason for the season -Jesus.
Gracious and eternal father, thank you for your written words, in this time of Advent, may we join our dreams of peace and justice to Yours and rejoice in the hope of our soon coming King- Jesus. Amen.
Stay Woke - Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart
Sunday, November 27, 2022
Read: Matthew 24:36-44
The season of Advent has arrived! Today is the first day of Advent. The word advent is used by the Christian Church to refer to the coming of our Lord. Traditionally it is the time most of us begin our preparations for Christmas. We live in a culture that tells us that it is in love with Christmas, a culture that tells us that Christmas is much more fun and advantageous for us than Advent. And as Christians we sometimes feel we have don our part when we revere the nativity story or listen to some magnificent portion of Handel.
Although the Jews also expected the coming of the Messiah, they failed to recognize him when he came. Our passage for this morning is not about Christ’s first coming, but about his second coming. The deepest truth of Advent is that God is coming to us - not to the shepherds and wise men of history but to the hearts that are now beating within us.
Jesus warns us that the Second Coming will be like the coming of a “thief.” As we know, the strategy of a thief is to break in when the people of the home are away or they are fast asleep or they are preoccupied with other activities. So also, says Jesus, the second coming will be.
Entering the season of Advent with traditional expectations could spoil our concept of Christ’s Coming again. Advent should be understood as a reminder to us of Christ’s coming, not only his coming in glory, but as a reminder that he comes into our lives again and again, even this very moment of time.
Advent reminds us that God is still acting in our lives and that God’s presence is as real today as it was when Jesus was born. Advent can be spent profitably considering how we experience and respond to God’s presence in our lives. How well or often do we pray? Do we love our neighbors? Do we work for peace in the world? We can use this time to form our responses to God’s presence, love and call upon our lives.
We lift our praise to you, O Lord, who loves us before and after all our plans. Prepare our hearts and minds for the surprising gift of your deepest love. Amen.
Rev. Dr. E. Allen Stewart
First United Methodist Church of Hyattsville
6201 Belcrest Road
Hyattsville, MD 20782
10:00AM - Worship Celebration
1st Sunday - Worship Celebration with Holy Communion
Sunday School 'All Ages are Welcome' (times vary by class)