Advent is a season of four weeks including four Sundays. Advent derives from the Latin word Adventus, which means coming. The season proclaims the coming of the Christ whose birth we prepare to celebrate once again, who comes continually in Word and Spirit, and whose return in final victory we anticipate. Each year Advent calls the community of faith to prepare for these comings; historically, the season was marked by fasts for preparation. Each Sunday of Advent has its distinctive theme: Christ’s coming in final victory (First Sunday), John the Baptist (Second and Third Sundays), and the events immediately preceding the birth of Jesus Christ (Fourth Sunday). Each Sunday of Advent a candle is lighted along with a scripture reading. The purple candles represent repentance. The pink candle symbolizes joy. The white candle is the Christ candle lighted on Christmas day.
During the month of October 2018 Center Grove Church will be conducting our 2018 fall prayer and consecration. Consecration is a time of setting ourselves apart so that God through the anointing of the Holy Spirit will speak His perfect will to us. Through prayer, repentance and sacrifice we reflect and examine ourselves seeking God’s direction, guidance and blessing. Through self-denial we grow closer to God as we seek to strengthen our relationship with Him. Each day during the month (excluding Sunday) has selected scripture readings and prayer guides that we are asked to follow. Sunday will be a day of Sabbath rest so that we can be rejuvenated for the journey.
This sermon was preached on Sunday March 18, 2018 at Center Grove UMC. Jesus is entering the final days of His journey to the cross. He answers a request to from some men who wants to see Him, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” In other words, “Times Up.” These notes were taken by one of the members in attendance Stephanie Cothron Searles.
Notes from Rev. Donald Smith’s sermon, March 18, 2018:
John 12:23-26 and verse 32.
As we reach the final days of Lent, we draw closer to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Are we willing to die to self? What are we willing to give up? Will we be a 40 Day Wonder or 40 Day Transformation?!
Jesus knew what His ultimate goal was. When we reach a turning point in our lives, which road will we take? Whose report will we believe? You’re either moving toward God or away from Him. Are we serious about God and church?
Time’s Up for playing church. Time’s Up for Religion. Jesus call us to Relationship with Him:Die to Self -Surrender to Jesus -Submit to Jesus -Did I come to church or worship?How much do we trust Jesus?Are you willing to trust Jesus with your life? There are certain places in our personal lives we don’t invite Jesus to (we don’t give Him full access). He might cause us to change. Light will not dwell in darkness, John 12:26 Will we follow Jesus? Will we go where He goes and stays where He stays? Jesus went to Zachaeus’ (chief tax collector’s house). He would go to the gang banger’s house. Time’s Up for being spectators. Jesus is looking for servants, “My servants go where I am”.
John 12:32. Will we lift Jesus Up! Jesus is calling us to something higher than ourselves. Here I am, Lord, send me. Jesus has given each of us “something” so that offers may see Him through us. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. .. Time’s Up! What will you do? If you Believe, will you Trust Him. If you Trust Him, will you Serve Him. Will you Lift Him Up so others may see Him. Will you die to self!