Stones Hill Community Church
Hope in the Dark - Messages in Your Misfortune
The message of Christmas is the world can be a dark place, and the more you look for the solutions, the darker it can get. But whenever God wants to give hope in the darkness, He likes to talk about a baby – and does so all through the Old Testament but especially the OT book of Isaiah. If you think about it, babies give joy no matter how dark it is. There’s a phrase from “O Holy Night” that says “the weary world rejoices.” What about the phrase that comes before? "A thrill of hope; the weary world rejoices….” When God wants to thrill with hope, He always talks about one baby in particular. Ray Ortlund says, “God’s answer to everything that has ever terrorized us is a child.” The Infinite infant who brings a message of unparalleled hope. Welcome to Stone's Hill and the Christmas season!
Locations & Times
  • Ligonier, IN
    151 W Stones Hill Rd, Ligonier, IN 46767, USA
    Saturday 4:00 PM
We welcome you to Stone's Hill today!

A typical Stone's Hill service has:

* music (so feel free to sing out);

* some announcements (things that are upcoming that you can be a part of);

* a message out of the Bible (God speaks to us through his Word);

* and an opportunity for you to respond to the message (either immediately in the case of a decision that needs to be made OR in the future as you live out the message in your daily life.)

So relax and enjoy your morning! We're so glad you are here!

Christmas Advent Readings 2021

Last year, Larry Green provided Advent Readings based on Love and Love-24-7. This year, the Advent Readings focus on Hope!

Hope in the Dark - Messages in Your Misfortune

PowerPoint Message Slides
Hope in the Dark - Messages in Your Misfortune
God’s purposes are often achieved through our misfortune but it’s not immediately apparent to us.

Here’s a young teenager having to bear the responsibility of a pregnancy. A big Roman Empire that forces a young couple to make a trip they don’t want to make. Here’s baby Jesus at the very beginning, shut out. Doors barred. The Manger. Out in the cold. No room. So much misfortune. Jesus was immersed in misfortune. There was some initial acceptance of this baby boy. But it didn’t last long.
This is one of the main themes of nearly every Christmas passage. Jesus was not born into a comfortable home. He was born into a feed trough, a manger. He was not born into a middle class, wealthy family. He was born into a poor family. He was not born surrounded by heads of state. He was surrounded by shepherds, who were at the bottom of the social totem pole. He was born to a pregnant, unwed teenage peasant girl who would, because she got pregnant before she was married – she would have been stigmatized the rest of her life (and she was) in that culture and that time, and so would her Son have been.

Is there a message in our misfortune? There is. God’s purposes are often achieved through our misfortune but it’s not immediately apparent to us. It’s so easy to miss the message and focus on the misfortune.

What was Mary's message in her misfortune? I imagine it went something like this: "Letting go of what I wanted, so God could do his work in me and through me." She sang her great Magnificat, beginning with the words, “My soul praises the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant” (Luke 1:46–48a). And toward the end of her song she said of her son: “He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble” (vv. 51–52). Joseph and Mary capsulized the mystery of grace—the King does not always come to the proud and powerful but to the poor and powerless.

Maybe this Christmas, by letting go of what you wanted, God can now give you what you've always needed - Hope in the Dark.

Dismissal Song

The Night Hope Was Born · Erin Corrado

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