12.17.22 EChurch@Wartburg: Pastor Lew Upchurch: Recapture the Joy (Advent)

An Advent prayer link

This Advent-time we remember Mary and Joseph,
giving thanks for their faithfulness, courage and obedience,
stepping out into the unknown in the strength of your Spirit,
playing their part in the fulfilment of your plan
to bring your prodigal people home again.

We pray that their example might be the pattern of our lives,
that when your gentle whisper breaks through the clamour of this world
and into our small corner, we might be ready to listen, and having listened, to act.

A Prayer for Peace & Joy at Christmas link

Lord, in a season when every heart should be happy and light,
many of us are struggling with the heaviness of life
—burdens that steal the joy right out of our stockings.
Tragedy arrives as innocent victims suffer, and an inner voice whispers, “Be afraid!”
We need your peace, Jesus. We confess that our hearts are too often filled with wonder of a different kind:
wondering when the bills will be paid, when the terror will stop, when rest will come. Will it ever?
Is the message still true? In a world where worry, not peace, prevails, stir up that good news again.

This Advent, make it real in our hearts. Never have we needed Your joy and peace more than now.
Thank You for the gift of Jesus, our Immanuel, the Word made flesh. We not only need Your peace and joy;
Lord, we crave it. You’ve promised rest for the weary, victory for the battle-scarred, peace for the anxious,
and acceptance for the broken hearted—not just at Advent, but every day of every year.
Your name is still called “Wonderful,” “Counselor,” “The Mighty God,” “
The Everlasting Father,” and “The Prince of Peace.”
We know that peace on earth can only come when hearts find peace with You. You are still our Joy.
You are still our Peace. You are no longer a babe in the manger. You are Lord of lords and King of kings.
And we still celebrate You as Lord—this Christmas and always.

An Advent Prayer link

Your prophets, called to make known your Word
Proclaiming justice, convicting sin
Displaying fruits of your love and grace
Comfort, comfort my people, says our God
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed

Your prophets, called to forth tell your Word
Unfolding a vision of your eternity
Making straight a highway to walk along
Comfort, comfort my people, says our God
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed

The sermon starts at minute mark 30:00 and ends at 53:15. Pastor Lew is one of my favorite Lutheran pastors.

A Hopeful Benediction link

Be people of hope.
Let hope live in your heart and share the hope of Christ with all you meet.
Share hope by noticing someone else’s humanity.
Share hope by listening to someone’s story.
Share hope by praying for our world.
In this Advent season, we need to see, feel, and share hope.
As you go out into the wonder of God’s creations, share hope with those you meet.


12.17.22 EChurch@Wartburg: Pastor Lew Upchurch: Recapture the Joy (Advent) — 5 Comments

  1. What a wonderful, POSITIVE offering from you at this time of celebration–thank you, and may 2023 offerings remain overly POSITIVE and not negative. Give it a try!!

  2. HRL,

    Too bad your current pastor couldn’t try a sermon in which he celebrated the Advent instead of having people read a passage about submitting to the elders after a lengthy sermon on the elders who need to be obeyed. Then again, it sure would make you elders feel good.

    Why don’t you try to figure out why I write about NEGATIVE things and why so many people come here? Abusive pastors and church leaders have hurt so many. But it is easier to stick your head in the sand and make silly comments that seem passive-aggressive.

    Explore the NEGATIVE. Give it a try. Maybe you would figure out why so many are leaving the church. By the mid-century, Christians will be in the minority. Is it because everyone is so POSITIVE? One thing is sure, the Bible church is not a POSITIVE place to be for many. It used to be.

    BTW, I post an EChurch every week. You might enjoy joining in the worship with others here who have left the church. Be careful what you say. This was started to help people who were hurt by churches like the Bible church.

  3. For all my readers
    The above comment appears to come from a standing elder at Chapel HIll Bible Church. He didn’t have the decency to post his comment on a post that wasn’t an EChurch.