Our new sermon series on Luke begins November 29!
I remember when our fourth daughter was born. On the one hand, everything seemed very familiar: the same hospital, the same OB-GYN, the same routine, the same crib, the same car seat, even the same gender! We had done this three times already! But on the other hand, everything was new. A whole new girl, a whole new person, a whole new life. There was something exhilarating in returning to something that was so familiar yet at the same time altogether new.
This December, we are beginning anew in a couple different ways. First of all, we are beginning a new Christian year. The first Sunday of Advent is November 29, and for the historic and global Christian community, Advent begins the new year. We begin rehearsing the same old story again, beginning with the anticipation of Christ (Advent), the coming of Christ (Christmas), the life of Christ (Epiphany), the suffering of Christ (Lent), the resurrection of Christ (Easter), the ascension of Christ (Ascension Day), and the sending of the Spirit (Pentecost). We have rehearsed this story so many times before, yet this is the story that centers our community and anchors our hope. And so even though we have gone through the motions of Advent many times before, we begin this story anew! We move into the season of anticipation remembering that “the hopes and fears of all the years” are met in this One who comes to save.
In December we are also beginning a new sermon series on the Gospel of Luke. Over a period of about eighteen months, with several breaks throughout, we will be working through the entire book of Luke together. For many of us, this will be full of familiar stories that we have heard again and again. So why are we doing this?
First of all, because we never “graduate” beyond the person of Jesus. To grow as a Christian and to grow as a church involve going deeper and deeper into knowledge of and relationship to Jesus, in whom are “hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Second, we are doing this because Luke, in particular, seeks to show us what a community looks like that follows Jesus and embodies his Kingdom. As we continue to discern how God is shaping the future of Third Church, we will take many cues from Luke in what he envisions for a community that follows Jesus.
So though we are now returning to familiar traditions, a familiar story and a familiar book, we are at the same time beginning anew. May God renew our love for the Savior and continue to make us new!
Grace and peace of our Savior+