The Settled Hope of Christmas Eve

The anticipation has led us here. To the day before. Even in the wake of a trying year we know tomorrow will come.

We grieve for those who can’t say that and do so with the fixed and firm hope that this day brings.

Like shepherds tending our flocks, there is still work to be done. But we will have the opportunity to look up and hear the announcement of a child.

This side of the first Christmas Eve we know the ramifications. The redemption that will be worked. The new life that is to be found in the child born king. It is then with this knowledge we breathe in the peace that this promise holds.

Jesus has come and he is coming again. Both truths anchor us and give us a settled hope. May our day before be rich in reminder, and his real presence with us.


The Road Taken

Awaken Our Souls Reservoir Church Sermons

Pastor Jonathan Shradar preaches on Joel.  The soul of the church is awakened by the patience and provision of God.
  1. Awaken Our Souls
  2. He Alone is Merciful – Hosea
  3. Light to be Seen
  4. Jesus did it.
  5. The Road Taken

Return to Waste

As we have be languishing (should we use that word) under the stay-at-home order, it has been fascinating to me to watch the number of items shared on social media and recounted in conversations that skew data or make questionable claims, all to back up our perspective that we need to get back to normal.

I want to have kids back in school. I want to be with people in public. I want to attends youth sporting events. I want to watch something live on ESPN again. I want to meet up with friends at the brewpub. I want to crowd our little church building again. I want to travel on planes to far-off destinations. I want to have to buy gas for my car again (wait did I just say that?!) I want… I want… I want…

You could probably build your own list of the things you want. Many good. To hug grandkids again. To go to a concert. To run in an organized marathon.

But as I think through my list I am struck with how selfish my desires for getting back to normal truly are. I am absolutely concerned about the economy. I deeply desire the flourishing of humanity. But I also want to eat a chesseburger without having to microwave it after I pick it up with a mask on.

And there it is. Most of the stuff I most want to get back to is honestly waste. Am I aching to get back to serving my neighbors? Was I doing that in the first place? Am I aching to get back to sharing the gospel with people at every opportunity? Was I doing that in the first place? Am I aching to get back to living with less so someone else has enough? Was I doing that in the first place?

Our “normal” was wrapped up in self, and I doubt you are all that different from me. So why long to “get back” to that? Why be so obsessed with the past that we miss what the future, even what the present holds?

As I ponder these things, I am thankful that Jesus doesn’t motivate with guilt, and my intention is not to guilt myself, or you, into change. But it is an opportunity for intentional reflection about what we are really meant to value in life and what we should spend our remaining days living for.

Let’s not return to waste.