Advent Thoughts and News about Christmas

Advent Thoughts and News about Christmas

Joshua 1:9 — Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

PEACE FOR THOSE LIVING IN FEAR

Walking alone through a dark alley in a bad part of town would be pretty terrifying to most people. With no one to watch your back, you would probably feel very discouraged. However, if you walked through that same dark alley with a Navy SEAL team surrounding you, you would probably feel very safe, protected on all sides by those elite soldiers. A dark alley can feel terrifying, or it can feel safe. . . . it all depends on who is with you.

Joshua had every reason to be terrified and discouraged as he and the Israelites entered the promised land. Their great leader, Moses, was gone. The land of Canaan was filled with enemy nations that would oppose the Israelites every step of the way. Joshua easily could have trembled in fear as he thought about what lay ahead.

But Joshua didn’t need to be afraid. He could enter the promised land full of strength and courage, because he was not entering that land alone. The Lord his God was going with him. And sure enough, God proved he was with Joshua when the walls of Jericho fell at nothing but the sound of trumpets. God proved he was with Joshua when the sun stood still over a battlefield. God proved he was with Joshua when the list of defeated kings totaled thirty-one. God said he would be with Joshua wherever he went, and God kept that promise.

God will also keep that promise to you. God has gone to great lengths to prove that he is with you. He sent his Son, Jesus, to take on human flesh and win salvation for you. Before he ascended, Jesus reminded all of us, “Surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” In your baptism, God poured his Holy Spirit out on you. In Communion, Jesus gives you his body and blood to assure you that his forgiveness is with you. Christ lives in you, and he will never leave you nor forsake you. You won’t always have a Navy SEAL team following you, but you have something better: God is with you wherever you go. Whether you are entering the hospital for treatment, beginning a new job, having a child, or sharing your faith with a friend, God goes with you. You can be strong and courageous no matter where life leads you. Have no fear! No matter what scary dark alleys of life you walk down, your God is by your side.

CHRISTMAS SERVICES

Christmas Eve Candlelight with Lessons and Carols — 5:30pm & 7:30pm
***Sunday School and preschool children are invited to sing “Away in a Manger” at the 5:30pm service.

Christmas Day Festival Service — 10:30am

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