Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation Online Service
November 29, 2020
“Advent 2020 has arrived, make way for the Lord!”
Music for the first Sunday of Advent – “O Little Town of Bethlehem” by Connie Francis
Invitation to Worship
Today we begin the beautiful and Holy season of Advent. With all that
is going on this time of year, it is no wonder that Advent will not get the
attention it deserves. But, if you and I commit to living this season well
and to its fullness, we will experience a deeper conversion to Christ.
Plus, find real transfiguration in our lives becoming Christian Stewards.
Advent not only calls us back to grateful contemplation of Christ’s first
coming but allows us to look forward to Christ’s second coming!
Advent is a time to reset and regroup, to repent over misplaced
priorities, to turn our mind and hearts back to God. To leave the
darkness and let our light shine for Jesus.
Music – “This Little Light of Mine” by Odetta
“For since the world began, no ear has heard no eye has seen a God like you!” – Isaiah 64:4
Message – “God Has Come Among Us” by Elder Jim Brougher
A Deity unlike any other, “Jesus” brought a new kind of love to planet Earth. The world then, as now, was a very chaotic place. Throw in today’s pandemic, the presidential election, and the expected “Dark Winter,” folks, we are expecting a very dismal outlook. Unless of course,
the eyes of our hearts could be raised to something or someone both overwhelming and beautiful. Something that holds the promise of lasting joy and enduring Hope. That something is Jesus Christ for he is the Light in a troubled world and saving grace for mankind.
For me, childhood memories of Christmas, and Appalachian winters, and Family love, and Jesus are not enough to get me through rough times such as we now face. It is amazing how today’s personal stressors melt the nostalgic smiles off from our faces. The drain of yesterday’s sweet memories due to today’s world situation can be traumatic.
But there is a happy resolve to all of this if we choose it. That is the advice and comfort of Scriptures. Today Mark 13:28-29, states:
“Now learn a lesson from the fig tree. When its branches bud and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that summer is near. When you see this is taking place today, you can know his return is evident.
For Christ has come and Christ will come again so you and I need always to be ready, Amen. Advent season starts today it brings a season of new hope, warms us and assures us that CHRIST HAS COME AMONG US. His plea to us is and always will be, “Ye who are tired come to me and I will give you rest.” If today you are wearied because of stress, fear, and all else – take heart for Christ is among us. The season of Advent is here, change can be yours simply for asking Jesus to come NOW!
“Just as I Am”
Because our faith involves looking away from all else to the person of the Living God, into the face of Christ. It is there that we behold the author behind every good biblical story, and the author of Life on planet earth – JESUS CHRIST.
Christ is in everything and everyone for he is the object of our soul’s gaze. When we behold such splendor and beauty our smiles return, our eyes sparkle, and our fears of some “Dark Winter” lie crushed beneath our feet. So, wipe off your feet, open your heart, and open your eyes for “God has come Among Us” – Hallelujah and amen.
Music – “Let There Be Peace on Earth” by GENTRI and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Disciples’ Generous Response
“There are many lives waiting to hear the redeeming words of the gospel or to be lifted from hopelessness by the hands of loving servants. But they will be lost to you without the generous response of disciples who share from their own bounty that others may know the joys of the kingdom.” – D&C 162:7a
The needs of the church continue, and are indeed increased in these difficult times. You can share this stewardship with your fellow church brothers and sisters by sending your contributions to Dick Kramer or electronically via eTithing.
May the peace of Christ always be with you and may your heart
light always shine to repeal the darkness about this world. God Bless
you all. In his mighty Love – Jim
This service was prepared by Jim Brougher.