“Take a load off,” is what I just told you. What does that phrase mean to you? Maybe, at least, sit down or take off your shoes. There is a load that so many people carry around all the time. It’s not a backpack full of books. The heavy load is anxiety or depression. Another heavy load can be a guilty conscience. It’s important to not confuse or associate those two things. People who struggle with anxiety and depression aren’t sinning. The comfort that our God offers in the first few verses of Isaiah 40 are powerful medicine.
A common misconception is that Christians don’t get depressed … or at least they shouldn’t get depressed. Saying depressions shouldn’t happen only serves to make God’s people – who already feel guilty and weak – even more guilty and weak. Christians do suffer from depression. The Lord has a message for you in your depression. The Lord removes your guilt. This Sunday marks the start of the Advent season, a time of preparation before our Christmas celebration.
Did you see all the TV’s marked down on Monday for the holiday? I didn’t either! Isn’t it great! There is no commercial aspect to Epiphany. I suppose you are wondering what exactly is Epiphany. This Greek word means reveal. During the Epiphany season of the church year we look at how the world found out and still finds out that Jesus is God …that Jesus is the Savior of the world.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We begin a new church year with the first Sunday in Advent. Hear the call to prepare your hearts. Jesus is coming! Don’t worry, we’ll help you get ready this year. I won’t be personally coming over to help trim your tree, but you will hear from John the Baptist. His cry in the wilderness still rings today: REPENT! Join us this Sunday as we begin our journey to the cradle. It is there that we will find the new born king.
What does a great victory look like? Maybe you can think of a few in the history of the world. Our God knows a thing or two about great victories. The difference is that they may not always look like great victories to our eyes. This Sunday we saw our God never get tired of winning. We win the victory with him.
He lives! The grave is broken. Where, O, Death is your victory? Where, O, Death is your sting? Most of the time its a bad idea to taunt anyone. But on Easter Sunday there is nothing that death can do. Eternal life is a fact. Eternal life is ours in Jesus.