The Beginning: In the Wilderness

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Here we go! Advent 2017 is here. Advent, Latin for “coming”  is the season in which we count back 4 Sundays before Christmas so we can look forward to the One we count on who was born on Christmas day!  It’s a season in which we listen to the voices of anticipation from the Old Testament and consider afresh the excited voices from the New...

This morning Pastor Lorissa Medrano led us on an Advent journey reminding us that the story of Jesus begins in a most surprising place – the wilderness. Here we witness the activation of God's prophetic word, His preparation so that we may perceive Him, and the promise God intends to fulfill in all our lives. 

TODAY'S SCRIPTURE | Mark 1.2-13

Mark 1.2   As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: 
    “BEHOLD, I SEND MY MESSENGER AHEAD OF YOU, 
    WHO WILL PREPARE YOUR WAY;
3     THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, 
    ‘MAKE READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, 
    MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT.’”

4 John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea was going out to him, and all the people of Jerusalem; and they were being baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. 6 John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist, and his diet was locusts and wild honey. 7 And he was preaching, and saying, “After me One is coming who is mightier than I, and I am not fit to stoop down and untie the thong of His sandals. 8 “I baptized you with water; but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

9   In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; 11 and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”

12   Immediately the Spirit *impelled Him to go out into the wilderness. 13 And He was in the wilderness forty days being tempted by Satan; and He was with the wild beasts, and the angels were ministering to Him.

Click here for this morning's sermon notes

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Here are some books and resources we recommend for your own reflection and study:

For our Christmas Eve schedule click here.

Advent for Everyone by N. T. Wright. An inspirational guide through the Advent season, from the first Sunday in Advent through the Saturday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent. Popular biblical scholar and author N. T. Wright provides his own Scripture translation, brief reflection, and a prayer for each day of the season, helping readers understand Advent in the wider context of God's love.

The Christmas Shepherd... an Advent devotional

How God Became King- Why we have all misunderstood the Gospels with N.T. Wright. This is a great introduction into the Kingdom of God and the meaning of the life of Jesus.

Who is Jesus is a video produced by Alpha... a GREAT introduction:

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