St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church had Reverend James Abernathy as pastor this Sunday. Neil Nichols served as the Lay Minister and John Greve and Jose Ramirez read the Lessons.
The First Reading was Jeremiah 33:14-16. Jeremiah prophesized that the Lord will soon fulfill his promises to Israel to allow David to execute justice and righteousness in the land. It will be called, “The Lord is our righteousness.”
The Second Reading was 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. Paul is relating to them how much joy he feels in their work for the Lord. Paul also says prayers for them that they will increase and abound in love for one another and for all. He prays also that they may strengthen their hearts in holiness and be blameless before God at the coming of Christ with all his saints.
Reverend Abernathy read the Gospel of Luke 21:25-36. These verses tell of the signs that will appear before the second coming of Christ. Believers are told that when these things begin to take place to “stand up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. ” Jesus used the parable of the fig tree sprouting new leaves before the coming of spring, to help them to understand to look for the signs of his second coming. Jesus also warns them to be on guard not to weigh down their hearts with worries, sinful lives, and dissipation or they may be caught unexpectedly. “Be alert at all times, praying that you will have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Reverend Abernathy asked the question, “Will this be good news or bad news?” It depends on what you have done with your life and if you have believed that Christ is your Savior. Another word used is the Apocalypse. It will be the end of all things as we know them on earth. Some wince a little when they hear apocalypse, but others are eager to hear more. If something is going to change, they want to know about it and know what the Bible teaches.
Jesus used poetic but realistic words to describe the end. He spoke of the cosmic changes and how the Son of Man will come on a cloud with power and great glory. Jesus tried to teach these signs to the people in the synagogue and the followers around him. He told of the cosmic changes and nature’s upheavals. Today, some are distressed by the fear of his coming, while others look forward to seeing the glory of Christ.
The Good News is that Christ is coming. Where do you stand? Are you one of God’s? Or are you too weighed down with your precious belongings to see his coming? Are you aware? Where will you be when we hear the news of Christ’s second coming? During the Advent season we not only wait and prepare for his birth at Christmas, but we also need to prepare for his second coming.
St. Matthew’s will have a Christmas Eve service at 7:00 p.m. and we invite everyone to join us. Our pastor will Reverend Gina Frnka We want to thank Neil Nichols and his hard working elves for decorating the church for the Advent season.