Oak Forest United Methodist Church
Friday, December 15, 2017
To Know Christ, To Grow in Christ, To Share Christ

Pastor's Message

December 2017
   Advent is my favorite time of the year. It’s a bit crazy that I say that because it is also the busiest time of the year (with Lent as a close second). I love it because there is a shift that happens in the overall mood of the people. There is celebration in the air, holiday music plays constantly. There are lots of yummy treats to eat and there are good smells in the air of Christmas trees, baked cookies, and good meals. If you haven’t figured it out yet I am a sensory person. So this time of the year ranks really high in my book.
     More than all the earthly fun that is to be had, Advent is a reminder that God is up to some really amazing things in the world and in likes of you and me. I’ve had several people ask me what Advent is really about. The word comes from the Latin adventus meaning “coming.” Now wait a minute! Coming! Hasn’t Jesus already come and that is what we are celebrating? Yes….and no. Yes…Jesus has already come and we celebrate how Jesus came to the earth the first time in the form of a baby to his mother Mary and earthly father, Joseph. We also celebrate that Jesus continues to shows up in the Word and through the Spirit of God whom we cannot pin down. The Spirit of God moves and shakes and draws us closer to God. But…(wait for it…) Advent is also about the second coming of Christ that we eagerly anticipate; without fear. We remember the way God sent Jesus 2000 years ago so we will be prepared to welcome him once again when Jesus returns. Basically Advent is about ALL the ways Jesus comes to his people; past, present, AND future.
     This year we are going to focus on Joseph. We are going to talk about the ways we receive Jesus in our lives and how Joseph helps us to see differently. Have you ever considered how difficult Joseph’s position was in welcoming Jesus as his son to the world? Every week during our sermon series we are going to get deep into the life of Joseph to consider what God may be saying to us now, in the 21st century and how God may be speaking into our lives. We are going to consider the lengths God will go for the redemption of God’s world. We are going to think about 1st century Galilee, Rome, and Egypt and how that connects to Midway, the United States, and our global situation today.
     We will be studying Adam Hamilton’s book Faithful: Christmas Through the Eyes of Joseph. Please purchase the book and dig deeper this year. You will get more out of the sermon series through his book. Hamilton’s Faithful is readily available through Amazon.com; Christian-books.com; or barnesandnoble.com. If are not internet comfortable, let us know in the church office and we will happy to order you a book. Invite your friends, your neighbors, and your family to be a part of this journey with Joseph. Much is in store this year so don’t miss out!
Advent Daily Devotions
     Julie will deliver daily devotionals available in print, on Facebook, on our website or in print. If you have not given us your email, please consider calling the church office with your email so we can add you to the daily devotional list. This devotional will be available through the season of Advent.