StoneBridge Community Church
The Unexpected: Advent - Asaph and Amos
Senior Pastor Jon Saur
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  • StoneBridge Community Church
    4832 Cochran St, Simi Valley, CA 93063, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM, Saturday 6:00 PM

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The Unexpected: Advent

Matthew prepares us for Jesus' birth by recounting those who came before Jesus. However, Matthew's account differs with other accounts of Jesus' lineage in the Bible. Upon closer inspection, Matthew included numerous unexpected names. What these names and changes tell us about Jesus, help prepare us for Jesus' return.
Sermon Outline

I. Matthew changes two kings
A. Asa becomes Asaph
B. Amon becomes Amos

II. Who is Asa?
A. King of Judah
B. Righteous to the very end

III. Who is Asaph?
A. Psalmist
B. Themes revolve around God's judgment of Israel

IV. Who is Amon?
A. Unrighteous King
B. Idolatrous
C. Assassinated

V. Who is Amos?
A. Prophet
B. Judged Israel
C. Amos focused on Israel's neglect of the poor

VI. Justice
A. In the Bible, "Justice" isn't rooted in philosophy or theory. It is rooted in God's heart.
B. Justice is derived from what God cares about and how God wants to see the world function.
C. We know the desires of God from scripture.
D. As Christians, we must care about justice because God's character reflects justice in the Bible.
E. As Christians, we are called to love those you see as unjust because Jesus teaches to love our neighbors and our enemies as ourselves.

VII. What is unexpected about this?
A. Tension?
B. Rest in scripture, in Jesus' words and his example.
C. As you follow Jesus more closely, don't be surprised if what you care about begins to change.

Article on Advent

Here is an explanation of what "Advent is."

Who is Asa?

Here is some information on King Asa of Judah.

Psalms of Asaph

Here is the wikipedia page for the Psalms of Asaph.

Who is Amon?

This is a link to the wikipedia page for King Amon, for background info.

Amos the Prophet

Here is background info on Amos the Prophet and some of the themes in his book in the Bible.
Why did Matthew make these changes?

Scholar Dale Bruner claims that "Matthew changed Asa to Asaph and Amon to Amos to teach that God not only forgives but demands."
Pastor Jon shared a quote related to loving those one might consider "unjust." Here is the quote:

As deep as our commitment to justice may be, we cannot pursue justice by utterly destroying the unjust. Or, rather, our only means of destroying the unjust is to make them just, enticing them into friendship with God by letting our witness of love be the instrument of God's grace." - Frederick Bauerschmidt, Love that is God, p. 88

1. What comes to mind when you think of God's judgment? What preachers, books or influences have shaped how you think of God's judgment?

2. Why do you think God judged Israel?

3. Does the book of Amos change your perception about why God judged Israel?

4. Do you agree that judgment isn't God's final word? Why or why not?

1. Make a note of what, if anything, makes you feel uncomfortable or uncertain about conversations about justice.

2. Read Amos, Chapter 5. From this passage, make a note of what God cares about.

3. Read Matthew, Chapters 5-7. From this, make a note of what Jesus cares about and demands from his followers.

4. Pray that God would make clear to you a biblical understanding of justice.

One way our church family celebrates the holy season is through our special Heart of Christmas offering. This year, The Heart of Christmas offering will be divided between four important ministries that make a difference all year long—IMPACT, Samaritan Center, Sarah’s House, and James Storehouse. For more information on each of these ministries and to make a donation, please click below..

The Deacon Angel Tree provides an opportunity to help other families in our congregation and community who may be in need this Christmas season. The Deacons invite you to share the Christmas cheer by donating gift cards in any amount for grocery stores, Target, Walmart, restaurants, or food delivery services. Purchased gift cards can be dropped off during weekend services or at the church office. Please turn in gift cards by December 10th. The Deacons thank you for your generosity!

Contribute to worship this Advent season and help decorate a special advent Christmas Tree! For the next few weekends, grab an ornament from the ministry table, make a dedication in honor of or in memory of a loved one, or write a special prayer. Ornaments can be placed on the tree during worship starting in December.

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