God turns enemies to friends!
In God’s kingdom, creatures that used to be enemies become friends. “The wolf shall live with the lamb… and a little child shall lead them.” That’s the famous prophecy from Isaiah we hear in the weeks before Christmas. We call this period Advent, a time of waiting for God to act in our world. We watch for the signs that God is with us.
“A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse.” – Isaiah 11:1
So… where is He? Sometimes, it’s hard for us to see. Like in today’s Gospel lesson, where John the Baptist calls smug elite leaders a “brood of vipers,” our world may include friends who are snakes. John warns: “Even now, the ax is lying at the root of the trees.” If you don’t bear fruit, he warns, you’ll be chopped down and burned. Yikes!
John calls the “vipers” to repent – prune away the deadwood, clear out the clutter, wash out the stains and put God ahead of their big, fat egos. That’s how God’s kingdom comes. When we do that, Isaiah promises “a shoot shall come out from the stump” – new spiritual growth! The leopard and baby goat become friends; the toddler plays with the poisonous snake.
Think that’ll never happen? Check out this video about the amazing friendship between Owen, a hippopotamus, and Mzee, a tortoise.
At PEACE, we invite you to wait and watch with us as our loving God prunes us and grows us from “vipers” to (sometimes unlikely) friends! And, on Christmas Day, the Little Child will come to lead us all!
Today’s Sermon: Preached by Pastor Eileen Smith Le Van
Today’s Bible Readings: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72: 1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13; Matthew 3:1-12. Read them here.
We Lutherans really enjoy our coffee & baked goodies, so please, come have a little something with us! After each worship service, we gather in our Fellowship Center for refreshments and conversation. Come make new friends!
ADULT BIBLE STUDY
Meet at 10 a.m. in the Old Fellowship Hall. Pastor Eileen Smith Le Van leads the Adult Forum. Get your coffee & goodies first in the Fellowship Center!
YOUTH @ PEACE SUNDAY SCHOOL
Children’s Christmas Program! All children are welcome to participate in our Christmas program, performed at the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, Dec. 11. Practice is during Sunday School time, starting at 9:45 a.m. in the Youth Room, downstairs. Contact Trina Kleist for more information: email@example.com or call/txt (530) 575-6132.
Youth @ Peace is our all-ages Bible study, teaching key Bible stories – the cornerstone for a lifetime of faith. We would love to have you with us!
Coming Up at PEACE
- Free mini-concerts: 5 p.m. Wednesdays before Christmas. Get relief from the holiday rush! These musical moments will calm your mind, nourish your soul and help you refocus on the true reason for the season. At 5:30 p.m., we shift to the short-but-moving Holden Evening Prayer.
- Children’s Christmas Program: During the 11 a.m. worship service, Dec. 11. Our children present the Christmas story from the shepherds’ point of view.
- Christmas Eve Choir: 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. Sing with us from the “Candles and Carols” arrangements of familiar Christmas songs as we narrate the Nativity.
- More activities at PEACE are posted here.