Someone once wrote, "The coming of Jesus is the greatest intrusion in human history, and the greatest intrusion in your life. Jesus makes all things new."
How many of us really like an intrusion — a sales call while eating dinner; someone asking you for a ride totally out of the direction you are heading; visitors at the door trying to persuade you to help support their cause or religious beliefs? So how can we "get our heads and hearts" around the fact that "intrusions can sometimes be great?"
In the 13th chapter of the gospel of Mark, we are reminded that Advent is — the Season of Surprise. Our God is a surprising God, who has acted in surprising, unpredictable ways since the creation of humanity. The Great Intrusion of the birth of Christ into our world reminds us that, in the midst of Advent surprises, God is present.
God did not say to us, "I hope I'm not intruding." Instead, God's messenger said to the shepherds, "Do not be afraid; for see — I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord." God breaking forth to humanity in a new way — the Word made flesh, who came to "hang out" in our neighborhood! The Great Intrusion!
During this Advent Season we need to be open to God's intrusion upon all the bedlam that takes place this time of year. As well, we need to remember that we are called to be intrusive, to take the initiative.
The gospel of Jesus Christ, the news of the Holy Spirit's surprising presence in our midst, is only good news if it is told and retold until all have heard and all have felt Christ's love.
Are we willing to intrude into the misery and ordinariness of others' lives in order to reveal the surprising gifts God has in store for them? To do so, the folks here at Spring Creek, must intrude with our witness of responding actively to God's love in our special inclusive, reconciling and caring ways.
May we find those ways to live out the "Great Intrusion and the great inclusion" of God in the message of hope, peace, joy, and love of the gift of the Christ Child!
FOCUS FOR ADVENT MESSAGES
12/3/17 (WEEK 1) – The Reason for the "Reason for the Season" – Mark 13:24-37
A Message in Music will be presented by acclaimed Rockford vocalist Dorothy Paige-Turner and the Council Choraleers, her choral youth group.
Communion will NOT be served on this date. It will be served at the Christmas Eve 5PM service.
"The journey we begin today calls us to direct our longings toward God and the promises for transformation that we receive in Jesus Christ." — The Upper Room. The Upper Room Disciplines 2017 (Kindle Locations 5935-5936). Upper Room Books. Kindle Edition.
12/10/17 (WEEK 2) – Waiting in the Wilderness Faithfully – Isaiah 40: 1-11; Mark 1:1-8; 2 Peter 3:8-15a
Life these days involves a lot of waiting. This is even true in our spiritual life. We want to grow in virtue and character, but maturity is not something that happens overnight. We must wait for it patiently.
12/17/17 (WEEK 3) – The Shape of Advent Joy (Christmas On The Creek) – Psalm 126
When God's mercy broke through to those spoken of in Psalm 126, the shape of their faith took on a new look — one of joyful transformation.
RECEIVING THE CHRISTMAS OFFERING
12/24/17 (WEEK 4) – 10:30 AM Morning Worship Service with Communion – Songs and Carols
12/24/17 (CHRISTMAS EVE) – 5:00 PM Service with Communion
Thin Places – Micah 5:2-5a; Luke 2:1-14 (15-20) – Some places in the world reveal the thin line between Heaven and Earth. Bethlehem may be the thinnest place of all.