Underdogs & Outsiders: A Worship Series for Advent & Christmas 2018

The Bible is full of surprises.  At every turn, we find God working in unexpected, even strange ways to bring about God’s purposes.  During Advent and Christmas, remembering this strange history of God working in our world helps us look forward to and celebrate the birth of God’s Son, Jesus.

December 2/First Sunday of Advent

Text:                      Genesis 38:11-19, 25-26

Message:            Tamar: Girl Interrupted

Other:   Holy Communion

Commentators have been quick to label Tamar as a “bad girl.”  Yet, in this story, we learn that Judah himself acknowledges that Tamar was more righteous than he.  Ultimately, the sin in this story is not sexual impropriety but economic injustice and the failure to care for the most vulnerable member of the family.  Join us for worship as we encounter the story of Tamar, the first woman found in Jesus’ genealogy, in our message Tamar: Girl Interrupted.  Our worship series for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Underdogs & Outsiders, will begin with a closer look at Genesis 38:11-19, 25-26.  Our worship will also include the sharing of Holy Communion.

 

December 9/Second Sunday of Advent

Text:                      Joshua 2:1-21

Message:            Rahab: God’s Working Woman

The second woman found in Jesus’ genealogy is Rahab, someone who can never seem to shake off her past.  Even as she is listed among the faithful in Hebrews 11, she is referred to as a prostitute.  In Rahab, however, God saw a woman who did what she had to do to save herself and her family.  God saw the courageous choices she made to help the Israelite spies.  In God’s vocabulary, maybe her name was not Rahab the prostitute, but Rahab the faithful, Rahab the courageous, Rahab the quick-thinking negotiator, or Rahab the wise.  Join us as our worship series for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Underdogs & Outsiders, continues with Rahab: God’s Working Woman (Joshua 2:1-21).

December 16/Third Sunday of Advent

Text:                      Ruth 1:1-18

Message:            Ruth: The Lady in Waiting

The birth of Ruth’s son, Obed, was significant not simply for Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi, but for the future of Israel.  A nation so concerned about ethnic and religious purity would have to grapple with the fact the great king David had a Moabite woman as an ancestor.  Join us for a closer look at the third woman in Jesus’ genealogy, as our worship series for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Underdogs & Outsiders, continues with Ruth: The Lady in Waiting (Ruth 1:1-18).

 

December 23/Fourth Sunday of Advent

Text:                      2 Samuel 11:1-5, 14-17, 26-27

Message:            Bathsheba: The King & I

The genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew 1 only refers to her as the “wife of Uriah.”  But this woman, the fourth in Jesus’ genealogy has a familiar name, Bathsheba.  What, then, might Bathsheba’s inclusion in Jesus’ lineage mean for us?  Join us as we explore this question in our message, Bathsheba: The King & I (2 Samuel 11:1-5, 14-17, 26-27).  Our worship series for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Underdogs & Outsiders, continues.

 

December 30/First Sunday after Christmas

Text:                      Matthew 1:18-25

Message:            Mary: The Girl from Galilee

The final woman mentioned in Matthew’s genealogy is Mary, the mother of Jesus.  We are so familiar with Mary that it may feel odd to call her an underdog or an outsider.  But when we stop to think about her story closely, we find that she has much in common with the four other women in Matthew 1.  Like Tamar or Bathsheba, Mary confronts notions of power with an alternative understanding of what power means.  Like Ruth or Rahab, her story challenges our conceptions of insiders and outsiders.  Ultimately, the story Jesus’ birth is enmeshed in scandal and vulnerability.  Join us as our worship series for the seasons of Advent and Christmas, Underdogs & Outsiders, concludes with Mary: The Girl from Galilee.  Our focus will be on Matthew 1:18-25.