As the Christmas celebration grows nearer we hear words of new beginnings. This season brings both a powerful new hope, but stirs memories of times past as well. Our joy and hope, tears and fears sometimes are very close.
Worship this week:
Saturday – 5:00 p.m. in the chapel
Sunday – 8:30 a.m. Traditional worship
9:30 a.m. Sunday School and Adult class
10:30 a.m. Contemporary worship
Devotions for this week:
A new beginning December 13, 2015
Sometimes departures are voluntary; sometimes they are forced. So many of God’s people left the Holy Land under duress, carted off to captivity in Babylon. But every empire has its time, and the Persians eventually took their place at the top of the worldly heap. Even far from the Holy Land, God proved faithfulness. God is not bound by place or time, ethnic origin, age, insider or outsider status. God will use whom God will, to be a bearer of good news. In this astonishing case, the people were set in motion, led home to Jerusalem and the Holy Land through the involvement of one foreign emperor, Cyrus, the ruler of Persia, who listened to the stirrings of the spirit.
Read: Sunday, Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13, Rebuilding the Temple
Monday, Ezra 3:5-13, Foundation Laid for the Temple
Tuesday, Ezra 4:1-5, Resistance to Rebuilding the Temple
Wednesday, Ezra 4:6-24, Rebuilding of Jerusalem Opposed
Thursday, Ezra 5:1-17, Restoration of the Temple Resumed
Friday, Ezra 6:13-18, Completion and Dedication of the Temple
Saturday, Ezra 6:10-22, The Passover Celebrated
- Why do you think it was important for the people to rebuild the temple? Why did some shout with joy and some weep?
- On what foundations is your community built? What ideologies shape your community?
- What gives your faith strength and a strong foundation? How can you strengthen your faith’s foundation?
Do: Look through a variety of magazines for images and words that appeal to you. (You don’t need a reason… just choose what you like.) Cut out the images and glue them to a poster board. Use this vision board as inspiration for strengthening the foundation of your faith.
Bless: May God build a strong foundation of faith in your life. Amen.