The Branch

The Branch

A Promise Made, A Promise Fulfilled

How long would you wait for someone to fulfill a promise? Some people may never really believe it while others might hold onto hope until their dying breath. God’s people in the Old Testament, from Adam through Noah, down to Abraham and eventually all of Isreal needed to hold on to that hope for a long time. The promise of a Savior was fulfilled but took thousands of years from when it was first revealed.

We also know from the Old Testament that the Israelites had a hard time staying faithful, and they suffered various punishments as a result. Even though Moses and a lot of prophets spelled out for them how good things would be if they remembered the promises, they seemed committed to ignoring them–and suffering the consequences that the prophets foretold.

We have the benefit of knowing Christ Jesus came and fulfilled that promise made long ago. The Advent season is when we remember the anticipation of His first coming and can reflect on all the promises that He fulfilled. We know that Jesus fulfilled the law of Moses. We know that He satisfied everything said by the prophets.

Additionally, He promised to come again to gather together all believers, alive or dead, and create for them a new heaven and a new earth.

But now it has been thousands of years since Jesus walked among us. What kind of person would still believe that what He said was true? Maybe one like Mary, the mother of Jesus, who believed in the promise, and as a result, she was chosen to be the mother of God. Oh, that we could all hold to that kind of belief.

Thanks be to God for his mercy!

Here is today’s sermon text from Isaiah 11:

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.
He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,
    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

The wolf shall dwell with the lamb,
    and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together;
    and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
    their young shall lie down together;
    and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play over the hole of the cobra,
    and the weaned child shall put his hand on the adder’s den.
They shall not hurt or destroy
 in all my holy mountain;
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
    as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.

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Bible Study: Our midweek Bible study is on hiatus during Advent. Sunday morning Bible study is still held and starts at 10 am.

Advent Vespers: We are not holding Midweek services, however, we will share a previous post online.

Voters Meeting: The next one will be held on December 11 at 3:30 pm via Zoom. This meeting will hold an election of officers and a budget proposal for 2023.

Donations: Even during the pandemic and with a decline in attendance, the expenses continue. If you wish to make a donation please mail them to the St. James post office box as that is a secure location. You may also donate online.

Prayer requests. Bring your prayer requests to Pastor Jenson, Deacon Poe, or Loyd Harris (bulletin typist). They will be printed in the bulletin and prayed for in the Sunday service. The deadline is Tuesday. Remember to obtain permission if you bring a prayer request on behalf of another person.

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