We Have Cause to Celebrate because the grace of God has appeared!
Linguistic time travel from Titus, to John to Isaiah reminding us that we do indeed have cause to celebrate.
To hear audio recording of sermon, click arrow below.
11 We have cause to celebrate because the grace of God has appeared, offering the gift of salvation to all people. 12 Grace arrives with its own instruction: run away from anything that leads us away from God; abandon the lusts and passions of this world; live life now in this age with awareness and self-control, doing the right thing and keeping yourselves holy. … Jesus the Anointed, … gave His body for our sakes and will not only break us free a from the chains of wickedness, but He will also prepare a community uncorrupted by the world that He would call His own—people who are passionate about doing the right thing.
My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. And I’m giving you a new commandment so you’ll know where I am, and who I am: You must love one another. —John 13:33-35
Closing Prayer featuring Isaiah
Holy one, earthly one, from Emmanuel to street corner prophets to folks sitting in a church on a little hill in Virginia – allow us to not only find our way to the manger but be transformed by the love that awaits us there. For as it was written in ancient days of Isaiah:
2 The people who had been living in darkness
have seen a great light.
The light of life has shined on those who dwelt
in the shadowy darkness of death.
3 And You, God, will make it happen. You bolstered the nation,
making it great again. You have saturated it with joy.
There will be a new time, a fresh start.
6 Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams,
a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift, Jesus, our cause to celebrate because grace has most definitely appeared even in the darkest of nights. Amen
We were blessed to have Lauren Burton perform and close the evening’s message with — “I Know Where I’ve Been” – from Hairspray (in which she played Motormouth Maybelle at Charlottesville Highschool)… we don’t have a live recording, so I guess we’ll have to settle for Jennifer Hudson’s version!