Faithlife Sermons

Joy Enough to Dream

Advent 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Vision and Joy enough to dream...

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Vision and Joy enough to dream...

Sermon
Vision and Joy enough to dream...
Me
Tested in dark times?
We call them dark because we cannot see hope or light.
We
Elizabeth and Mary, Wise men and shepherds...
Rejoicing even in suffering
What made them different?
How were they able to rejoice even before seeing any of the miracles of Jesus?
...Especially living in such dark times?
What does it mean to rejoice in the Lord?
Our vision of God connects our past, our present, and our future
God
Past
Psalm 126:1–2 NIV
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
A song of ascents.
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
Exodus 15:1–6 NIV
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy.
What kind of music style do you think this song would be written in today?
15 Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
“I will sing to the Lord,
for he is highly exalted.
Both horse and driver
he has hurled into the sea.
2 “The Lord is my strength and my defense;
he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him,
my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
3 The Lord is a warrior;
the Lord is his name.
What kind of music style do you think this song would be written in today?
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army
he has hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh’s officers
are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The deep waters have covered them;
they sank to the depths like a stone.
6 Your right hand, Lord,
was majestic in power.
Your right hand, Lord,
shattered the enemy.
What kind of music style do you think this song would be written in today?
It was not a pretty ballad
It was a song of victory in war
There was probably some fists pumping in the air
What kind of songs or chants gets you excited enough to jump up and raise your hands or fists into the air?
Has God done anything that makes you that excited?
But it is more than that as well.
After the laughter and excitement fade, a sense of awe remains, and we change...
We begin to dream new dreams.
I have a dream... - Martin Luther King, Jr.
That only comes from catching a vision of God and seeing new possibilities.
Present
Psalm 126:3–4 NIV
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev.
Psalm 126:3-
3 The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes,  Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Bishop Fairley
Bishop Fairley
"Ordinary People, Extraordinary Teams"
The Possibilities are endless
It takes Joy to bring new life.
What are these fortunes, like streams of in the desert?
Not the people, places, or programs of the past.
The miraculous mercies of God, which are new every morning
Throughout the Old Testament, the two most common miracles were deliverance from enemies in battle by divine intervention, and children born to couples who thought they could never have children.
Every victory in battle was the same, but each one was celebrated as if it were the first one ever.
Every childbirth was similar, but every child was celebrated as if he or she were the first child born.
What miracles does God have in store for us?
If you knew something of what God had in store for us, how would you live differently?
Future
Psalm 126:5–6 NIV
Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
Matthew 5:3–12 NIV
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
will reap with songs of joy.
Rejoice
6 Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.
5:3–12pp—
He said:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Rejoice
In our suffering, we still see the light
It gives us cause to rejoice
It may only be a sliver of light from the dawn that we can see... but we know Sunday's coming...
that glorious Day of the Lord
That Day of jubilee, when every chain of sin and death will be broken away and we will be truly free... truly free to love God and each other, unhindered by a broken world.
God wants us to start the party now.
How are you going to live and act in heaven?
Start today.
You
What about your struggles? Do you just ignore them?
No.
We let go of the things we need to let go of, the things that pull us away from God.
We leave our adulterous and idolatrous affairs with the world outside the manger.
We bring our broken selves to Jesus.
We take Jesus home with us, leaving our junk on the side of the road because our arms are full enough with Christ.
We are not just waiting for heaven though.
Going to heaven does not immediately fix all our problems.
There will be hurts waiting to be healed when we get to heaven.
There is a tree, split down the middle by the water of life...
Revelation 22:1–2 NIV
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
Eden Restored
22 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
We
No. As Paul wrote in , we weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.
We bring our tears, but we don't let them blind us to the light and vision of joy before us.
We see and we share with one another the vision of God we see in and around one another and the hope we see in what He is doing with us.
John Wesley's last words:
The best of all is this: God is with us.
Emmanuel
God with us.
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