Sunnyvale Presbyterian Church
Worship Focus for December 3
Awake to Hope
The Rev. Hardy Kim, preaching

Are you ready?

Are you ready for the season that is ahead of us? What are the things that spring to mind, as you think about the weeks that are left in 2017?

I imagine that many of you, reading this message, have already done much to prepare for gatherings and celebrations. Some of you might be looking forward to getting together with family and friends that you haven’t been able to see for a while. Others might be preparing gifts and surprises for loved ones, to bring some fun to this season. Perhaps there are even some who are dreading all the hustle and bustle and busyness of the days ahead.
But I also wonder whether your mental check-list of preparations includes making time and space in your life for hope. What are the things that you would wish for your family and community, if you let yourself dream that the holidays ahead are filled with real gifts (and not just presents)? What are the ways in which you wish the world could be different, if only God’s presence could fill every heart?

Are you ready for Advent? Are you ready for our season of hoping and waiting?

In the name of our coming Prince of Peace,
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Theme for Sunday

“The new world of God is beyond our capacity and even beyond our imagination. It does not seem possible. In our fatigue, our self-sufficiency, and our cynicism, we deeply believe that [the new world God promises] could not happen here. Such newness is only poetic fantasy. 

In Advent, however, we receive the power of God that lies beyond us. The power is the antidote to our fatigue and cynicism. It is the gospel resolution to our spent self-sufficiency, when we are at the edge of our coping. It is the good news that will overmatch our cynicism that imagines there is no new thing that can enter our world.”

-Walter Brueggemann, Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent
Questions for Reflection
  1. What are some of the realities of your world or life that you wish could be changed, but that seem too big or stubborn to be addressed?
  2. How does your faith help you to live with, or even to challenge, some of these realities?
First Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-9

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence- as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil- to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might...

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Second Scripture: Mark 13:24-37

"But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his...

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