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Fairfax Presbyterian Church, December 19 2020

Advent Devotion: Luke 1:39–45

Luke 1:39-45, by Jerry Cook

Jesus is the Light of the World

After Mary had been told by the angel Gabriel that she would give birth to Jesus, she went to visit her relative Elizabeth who was expecting the birth of John the Baptist

Luke 1:39-45 At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished."

John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Where do we see signs of light today?  Three examples are given in the following:

 I.  Peace agreement in Middle East

With the United Arab Emirates Normalization agreement the UAE has become the third Arab country, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, to agree to formally normalize its relationship with Israel, as well as the first Persian Gulf country to do so. Concurrently, Israel agreed to suspend plans for annexing parts of the West Bank. The agreement normalized what had long been informal but robust foreign relations between the two countries. The agreement was signed at the White House on September 15, 2020, was approved unanimously by the Israeli cabinet on October 12 and was ratified by the Knesset on October 15. The UAE Parliament and cabinet ratified the agreement on October 19.      (from Wikipedia)

II. Worship

Since the advent of the corona virus, indoor church worship services have been limited in the number of attendees permitted, and in many circumstances have been limited to virtual services. As a result, some people have turned to outdoor services. The campaign, Let Us Worship, led by Sean Feucht has conducted a series of approximately 50 outdoor Christian worship services in large cities across the US over the last few months. These services feature live worship music with attendees actively participating in the singing and have drawn tens of thousands of participants to each service. Large numbers of people have accepted Christ and been baptized at these services.

III. Education and Empowerment of Minorities

The Woodson Center was founded by Robert L. Woodson, Sr., in 1981 to help residents of low-income neighborhoods address the problems of their communities. It operates throughout the nation to assist community and faith-based organizations with training, technical assistance, and linkages to sources of support. More recently the project “1776 Unites” was begun. It is supported by the Woodson Center and several prominent academicians and journalists. It is led by African American historians and advocates to promote founding American values like entrepreneurship, self-determination, and mutual social support.  In addition to material on U.S. history and historical controversies, contributors to 1776 Unites promote current and historical examples of prosperous Black communities as “a powerful refutation of the claim that the destiny of Black Americans is determined by what whites do, or what they have done in the past.” They will present stories of upward mobility and resilience that document the successes of African Americans. It also promotes the work and thought of entrepreneurs, philanthropists, business and community leaders, and others it considers “achievers,” to illustrate the opportunities for success that are open to African Americans today, their contributions to national economic and cultural life, and their stake in U.S. life and history. (from Wikipedia)

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father. At this Christmas season we again celebrate your coming to dwell among us on earth in the form of your Son, Jesus. Thank you that He has revealed your love for us and has demonstrated how we should live. Grant us the desire and the ability to keep your commandments and to follow Jesus’ example in our relationships and interactions with others.  Amen          

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Fairfax Presbyterian Church


Previous Christmas schedule announcement: December 18, 2020
Next Advent Devotion: Luke 1:46b–55