Message: Celebration 2021
Speaker: Greg Holder
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
We can admit both the joy and the pain of living in this broken world.
See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God! And that is what we are! 1 John 3:1
A couple of weeks ago we talked about a father who never gave up on his rebellious kid, eager to forgive, longing to restore, always checking the horizon.
But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. Luke 15:20
The son then starts to confess that he has sinned against heaven and his dad. He wants to work off the mistakes he's made. But his father interrupts him.
But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let's have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." So they began to celebrate. Luke 15:22-24
This is why we celebrate on Baptism Sunday. We are throwing a party for a whole bunch of people. Sons and daughters have been welcomed home.
We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. It is God's gift called grace.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old is gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Where were you on this day 20 years ago, September 11, 2001? We remember the trauma and loss of that day, but we also remember the heroes and the faithfulness of God on that day.
What does the phrase "Welcome Home" mean to you? Was there a time in your life where you were welcomed back into fellowship like the son returning to his father in Luke 15?
It is good for us each to remember where we would be without the grace that God has freely given us. Can you remember when that grace made sense to you and you accepted it?
Perhaps you have not yet crossed that line of faith. Are you ready now to accept this most precious gift and receive him as your personal Savior. If so, you can talk to your group leader or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A pastor would love to talk to you about this most important decision.
Have you experienced the peace that replaces anxiety when you present your situation to God with prayer and thanksgiving? How can you experience that in a deeper way?