Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sermon, "A Year in Review", by Pastor Ruth L. Foss, Suncook United Methodist Church, Suncook, NH, December 26, 2010

Pastor Ruth Foss
Suncook United Methodist Church
December 26, 2010
Psalm 150 NLT Bible
Hebrews 2:10-18 NLT Bible
Isaiah 63:7-9 NLT Bible

A Year in Review

Well here we are. . . its December 26th and the year is almost over. This has been a busy year and it seems as if it went by far too fast. There have been many things that have happened in the life of this church this year. For instance. . . this year we decided that we needed to step out and ask for help for the Old Home Day fried dough booth and asked for help from AA and they were all too happy to help out. . . as a matter of fact I think it helped us to build a different type of bond with the members there. . . we included them within the life of the church. . . we reached out in faith and the Lord provided more than we expected. And then we received a bequest for a large sum of money and we as a church decided to put in a lift so that others would be able to fellowship with us and maybe even draw nearer to God by allowing them access to the Word of God that they may never had before. . . we prayed about it and the Lord provided more than we expected. We then decided, during our yearly Church Charge Conference, that what we had in our hand that we would use is “radical hospitality”. . . we decided to step out in faith and practice that hospitality that Jesus modeled for us and the Lord will provide those opportunities that we will be able to practice what we have put on the altar to use in the coming year for His Kingdoms glory. This is just to name a few things that have happened in this past year.

We have all had glorious times in our personal lives that we can give thanks for this year. We have had babies born, children baptized, birthday and anniversary celebrations, and the list goes on from there. Yes. . . we have had a very good year. But don’t get me wrong. . . this year has not be all a “bed of roses for us.” There have also been things that have happened in our lives and in the lives of those we love and know that have brought us to our knees. . . things that have made us question the reasoning of God. I know when Shyanne was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes it nearly killed me. I questioned God. . . why is this happening to her. . . why was the compassionate God that I serve allowing this to happen to a child who has nothing but love and peace in her. . . something that she shares with all who touch her life. . . why God. . . why?! I felt as if my world was crashing in around me. . . I was in a spiral vortex that had no end. I felt alone and scared.

I am sure that, in this past year of great things, we have all had our moments of sorrow and pain, our own moments that have brought us on our knees before the throne of grace. We have had times when we cry out “ENOUGH. . . enough.” But there is one thing that has helped me through it all. . . in those times when I feel alone and no one can understand my pain. . . no one can truly see the situation I am in for what it is to me. It is a piece of scripture that helps me refocus my mind and not feel so all alone. It is found in Isaiah 63 verses 1-9 and it reads (and I’m reading from the New Living Translation):

I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love. I will praise the Lord for all he has done. I will rejoice in his great goodness to Israel, which he has granted according to his mercy and love. He said, “They are my very own people. Surely they will not betray me again.” And he became their Savior. In all their suffering he also suffered, and he personally rescued them. In his love and mercy he redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.

You see. . . as we heard in the Hebrews scripture from this morning, God sent His Son, Jesus, in the form of a human-being, made of flesh and blood. Jesus is there with me and with you through all of our trials. Jesus felt pain and suffering as we do, which makes Him even more compassionate towards us in our pain and despair. Jesus went through suffering and testing Himself and is there with us, able to help us in our hour of need. This is what gives me hope in my despair. . . this is what helps me in those moments that I fall to my knees crying “Abba Father.” Through Jesus I am privileged. . . We are adopted daughters and sons of the King, to approach our God with our joys and sorrows and we have a high Priest that understands exactly what we are going through (Do you remember what Jesus said while on the cross. . . ”My God, My God, why have you forsaken me. . . He knows our pain of feeling lost and alone in a desert)

And that’s not the best part. . . God is always. . . always. . . always. . . right here beside us, even when we don’t feel or hear Him. He is there, holding our hand and sometimes carrying us through.

Beloved brothers and sisters. . . It has been a good year. . . even through all of our ups and downs. . . and we are now facing a New Year. We have the hope, joy and love of a Great God who loves us and wants only the best for us. We have a compassionate Advocate who knows the trials we go through. We can step into the New Year knowing we have a personal Savior who has personally rescued you and me and will be Faithful to lift us up and carry us through the years. Yes indeed. . . it’s a good life and has been a good year indeed.


December 29, 2010
Isaiah 63:7-9
Hebrews 2:10-18
Psalm 150 (Call to Worship)
Worship Theme: “God’s presence in our past, present and future.”
and sermon, “A Year in Review”
by Pastor Ruth L. Foss!/pastorruthfoss
Suncook United Methodist Church
Suncook, NH
December 26, 2010
First Sunday after Christmas
Luke 2:6-7
Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
Luke 1:26-35, 38
Luke 2:1-7
Luke 2:8-20
Matthew 2:1-11
Advent Candle Liturgy, by Dean McIntyre
Christmas Pageant (6:30pm service)
Meditation by Reverend Huntley Halvorson (11:00pm service)
Suncook United Methodist Church
Suncook, NH
December 24, 2010
Christmas Eve services,
6:30pm and 11:00pm
Matthew 2:1-5
Hebrews 12:28-13.3
Advent Candle Liturgy, by Dean McIntyre (with Matthew 1:18-25)
Worship Theme: “You never know where you will encounter God.”
Unison Prayer
and sermon, “Meeting Angels”
by Reverend Huntley Halvorson
Suncook United Methodist Church
Suncook, NH
December 19, 2010
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 35:1-10
James 5:7-8
Call to Worship
church sign: “Uncontainable Joy”
Worship Theme: “Joy”
and sermon, “Uncontrollable”
by Pastor Ruth L. Foss!/pastorruthfoss
Suncook United Methodist Church
Suncook, NH
December 12, 2010
Third Sunday of Advent
2 Corinthians 4:1-10 (NRSV)
Isaiah 11:1-9 (TEV)
Luke 2:22-32 (TEV)
Luke 2:14 (bulletin cover)
Luke 2:8-14
Luke 19:41 (worship theme)
Responsive Prayer
(“Call to Worship #3”,
Year B, Second Sunday of Advent,
December 7, 2008, Order of service written by
the Rev. Nancy Townley, Abingdon author.)
Advent Candle Liturgy, by Dean McIntyre (with Psalm 72:1-7)
Children’s Message based on Matthew 1:21-23
Worship Theme: “If only you knew the way to peace”
and sermon, “Blessed Are the Peacemakers”
by Reverend Huntley Halvorson
Suncook United Methodist Church
Suncook, NH
December 5, 2010
Second Sunday of Advent
Romans 13:11-14
Isaiah 2:1-5
Worship Theme: “Hope”
and sermon, “The Reason for the Season”
by Pastor Ruth L. Foss!/pastorruthfoss
Suncook United Methodist Church
Suncook, NH
November 28, 2010
First Sunday of Advent

Copyright by Raymond A. Foss, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010. All rights reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss for usage.

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