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First UMC

Downtown Worship, December 17, 2023

Downtown Worship, December 17, 2023

Signs of Arrival: 3. Leaps of Faith

Locations & Times

First United Methodist Church of Lexington - Downtown

200 W High St, Lexington, KY 40507, USA

Sunday 8:30 AM

Sunday 11:00 AM

John 1:6-8

John 1:19-28

If you are waiting for God to work in your lives, you are in good company. As a matter of fact, the Advent season is to truly recognize you and so many others like you who are waiting, watching, hoping, and persevering. Advent reminds you, and me, that we are not alone.

And your task is to not give up. To not lose heart. To hang in there. I fully understand that all of these are easier for me to say than for you to do.

Maybe some perspective on what is happening while we wait will help?

But how?

Who are your representatives? Those people who you have surrounded yourself with who are willing to stay the course with you. You need them if you have any hope of remaining steadfast in your faith. Real friends will lend you their faith on the days you can’t seem to find yours.
Where is your focus? Is it on your mess or on the Messiah? If you’ve done it to the least of these, you’ve done it to me. Having a bad season in life? Find someplace to serve. Nothing will bring you closer to Jesus than to serve Jesus through the needs of those he has placed around you. Prayer. Scripture. Worship. These are our grounding graces if we will continue to be involved and not simply walk away.
Remember that the journey is one of sanctification. God does not waste one second of any minute shaping your life to be like his Son’s. You can remain strong because you are actually stronger than the day before thanks to God’s work in, on, and through you.
The great artist, Michelangelo, was once asked how he sculpted the David masterpiece. He said that he simply removed everything that was not David from the piece of granite. He knew what didn’t belong there and removed it until the image that has always been there was revealed.
Every no. Every day of waiting. Every disappointment is chipping away at what God is wanting to reveal. These aren’t setbacks you are experiencing. They are refining moments so that you can more clearly reflect the image of Christ…IF…we are willing to stay the course and not lose faith.

Advent, the times of waiting in our lives, takes not just a singular leap but an everyday leap of faith. We must set aside, like John did, and accurately reflect who we are and who we are not. We are not the Messiah. So we must wait for him who is. We are not good enough to be like Moses who spoke with God face to face. So we must wait for him who does. We are not strong in our faith so as to be taken in a whirlwind from this life to the next like Elijah. So we wait for him who will.

You are not alone in your waiting. The great reminder of Advent.

Jesus is closer than we can ever imagine. The great Advent promise.

And those who persevere will be saved. The great Advent truth.

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