Good afternoon! Today is the first Sunday of Advent, and Colona Community Church is celebrating Advent this year with special readings and messages. To listen to Pastor Steve’s message about “Expectation,” simply click play on the audio player below. I’ve included the Call to Worship and links to some of the Scriptures Pastor Steve references in his message. Enjoy!

Call to Worship

“Bethlehem Is a Place of Privilege”

My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. –Galatians 4:19

What an awesome privilege to be the handpicked city to cradle the Son of God. Why Bethlehem? Why not Jerusalem, the seat of religious power? Or Rome, the center of political power? Or Athens, the center of intellectual power? God was sending a message. The hope of  world is not in religion, politics, or philosophy. God privileged the little village of Bethlehem to send the message—the hope of the world is in a Savior!

This Christmas could become a Bethlehem moment for you. Like Bethlehem, you can awaken to a brand-new world. The same Christ born in Bethlehem can be born again in you. Paul puts it this way: “I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you. If you think Bethlehem is privileged to be His birthplace, what a greater privilege for Christ to be born in you.

Thinking of Bethlehem, Phillips Brooks wrote, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

From O.S. Hawkins’ The Christmas Code

Scripture References

Mark 3:13-19

Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7

Luke 1:5-7

Malachi 4:5

Luke 1:17

Luke 1:26-28

Psalm 89:3-4

Isaiah 9:6-7

Luke 1:29-33

Matthew 1:18-20

Matthew 1:24-25

Praying you have a blessed week, filled with the expectation of Christ’s Advent!

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