Sunday, December 02, 2018

12/2/18 1st Sunday in Advent, sermon, "A Hope For All Nations", by Pastor Ruth Foss, Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church, Patten, Maine

December 2, 2018
Stetson Memorial UMC
First Sunday of Advent
Sunday of Hope
Worship Theme-
Hope for the world to be turned up-side right again.
Sermon Series:
“The “Advent”ure…
Where Hope Begins”
Psalm 25:1-10
Jeremiah 33:14-16 NIV
Acts 1:10-11; John 14:1-3; John 3:16; Genesis 3:15; Hebrews 6:19a; Isaiah 2:1-4

“A Hope For All Nations…”

The Lord be with you…
And also with you…
Let us pray…
(Pray for the Spirits leading as God is heard through me or in spite of me…)

A reading from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah the prophet…chapter 33, verses 14-16. Listen to and for the promise of hope found in this prophecy of Jeremiah…

Jeremiah 33:14-16 New International Version (NIV)
14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
15 “‘In those days and at that time
    I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line;
    he will do what is just and right in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved
    and Jerusalem will live in safety.
This is the name by which it will be called:
    The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’

Good Morning…There seems to be so much despair and hopelessness in the world. All you have to do is to turn on the T.V., pick up a paper, or even look in our own neighborhoods and see all the despair and hopelessness. It is overwhelming when we think of the enormous distance that humanity has moved from God and into itself. Where is the hope to be found? Is there any hope for this upside-down world to be turned right side up again?

Today we embark on a most excellent “Advent”ure…as we will travel to the place where hope begins…the  hope of all people… Advent is one of my favorite seasons only overshadowed by the season of Lent. This is where Lent began…in a manger. This is where God’s plan of restoration began. Our destination…the manger…is the pivotal place for God’s first promise to humanity… Which by the way was not after the flood, His first promise is found in Genesis 3:15…
Genesis 3:15 New International Version (NIV)
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”
A for shadow of Jesus… We have hope because our God is a God who fulfills His promises…

So, today is the Sunday of Hope. So where is true Hope found? We at times try to find it in the world. But the problem with that is that like the world…the hope of the world is ever changing from one moment to the next…much like sifting sand.  No…real hope is found in the manger that we are traveling to. The hope found in John 3:16…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Not only do we celebrate the hope that came into the world in Advent…but we also celebrate and anticipate His return and setting things right-side up again. We have to admit; the world is a little up-side down. It seems as if the enemy is going to win but because of our hope in God’s promises and promised One we take courage in knowing the enemy will not have the last word…
Acts 1:10-11 tells us:
They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Jesus is coming back…and I can assure you that when He does…there will be a battle where He will be victorious…He already beat the enemy once…this time it will be once and for all.

If the words of these two men in white do not convince you…how about this…which Jesus Himself said…
John 14:1-3 New International Version (NIV)
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
14 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God[a]; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
He is coming back…and we have the hope of being with Him…where He is…
Hebrews 6:19a  New International Version (NIV)
19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

Isaiah tells us that…
Isaiah 2:1-4 New International Version (NIV)
The Mountain of the Lord
This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem:
In the last days the mountain of the Lord’s temple will be established
    as the highest of the mountains; it will be exalted above the hills,
    and all nations will stream to it.
Many peoples will come and say “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways,
    so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion,
    the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.

Today we begin the Season of Hope…of expectation. On this first Sunday, the Sunday of Hope, where do you place your hope? Is it in the world that offers sinking sand or is it in the firm foundation of heavenly hope? Will you choose the hope that offers stability of peace and assurance or the hope that is ever changing…rearranging itself to the whims of a broken world? It is all about choice. Which will you choose?


December 2, 2018

December 2, 2018
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
First Sunday in Advent
Sunday of Hope
Worship Theme -
“Hope for the world to be turned u-side right again”.
Sermon Series:
“The Advent”ure…
Where Hope Begins”
“Hope for things to be turned “Up-Side Right” again…”
Psalm 25:1-10
Acts 1:1-10
John 14:1-3
John 3:16
Genesis 3:15
Hebrews 6:19a
Isaiah 2:1-4
Jeremiah 33:14-16
and sermon, “A Hope for All Nations”

by Pastor Ruth Foss
sermon blog
8AM Live
meditation blog
“God’s Whisper” blog
Children’s Message

by Pastor Ruth Foss
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
Patten, ME
December 2, 2018
edited December 1, 2018
the baby climbed the cross – v2
December 1, 2018
the baby climbed the cross
day before the First Sunday of Advent
John 1
Pastor Ruth’s 8AM Live

All of my poems, photographs, and videos are copyrighted by Raymond A. Foss, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. All rights are reserved. Contact me at Ray Foss ( for usage. See all 48,200 of my poems at Poetry Where You Live.

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