Hope that Proclaims a Name

Hope that Proclaims a Name
Matthew 1:18-25

Adventus, meaning “the arrival.” The past, present, and future of our faith coming together. Advent is about an ancient longing for the arrival of the Messiah, the anticipation of the birth. We celebrate advent to remember his first arrival and anticipate his coming again, the second advent.

Survey: 2 out of 3 people have practiced or plan to practice re-gifting. Every year we have the opportunity to reopen the gift of Jesus here at Christmas. Be astonished!

Matthew 1:18-19 – Hope is from God.
Hope has a name. It all came about this way, this is one of two narratives of the coming of the Christ child. That which was impossible with man became a reality with God. This announcement was not uncovered but discovered. A Hebrew wedding was more complex than what we have in America today. 1) the arrangement or engagement, then 2) the betrothal, binding without consumption, then 3) the marriage itself, living together as a couple.

Mary became with child through or by the Holy Spirit, which speaks of the power of God through the Holy Spirit. There is a miracle in this conception. The role of the Holy Spirit is through all of this. Hope that is given is from the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit 1) conceived Jesus, and then 2) strengthened his earthly ministry, and then 3) then confirms that it all really happened; reality and hope coming into a broken world.

Romans 8:11 – the same Spirit that was in Christ is at work in you.

Matthew 1:20-21 – Hope clearly points to Jesus Christ.
The dream and the angel. 1) we see harmony here, two separate visitations; to Mary then to Joseph, God has this, it is all about Jesus, 2) we see Joseph addressed as Son of David, the connection is simple, the line through Joseph leads to the Messiah, 3) we see his name is called Yeshua, meaning salvation.

Matthew 1:22-23 – Hope defines our journey of faith.
All this took place, all what? These facts or statements in the text, yes, but all the prophecies were to fulfill the coming of Emmanuel. God with Us. We live our life today, taking God with us, we are on mission, we promote and embrace M3. Jesus is fulfilling every part of the prophetic message. He will build a kingdom forever, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, that comes through David and points to Jesus, and we are a part of the kingdom coming in the lives of others.

In the beginning of Matthew, we have “Emmanuel, God with Us,” then at the end of his gospel we read, “Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age.” Matthew begins and ends his book with hope. The Ravi Zachariah’s story of Stacey traveling overseas, the man was the doctor that delivered her and would make sure she arrived home safely to her family.

Matthew 1:24-25 – Hope calls us to true obedience.
Joseph did as the angel told him. He married her and kept her pure until she gave birth. He went from “I’ll handle this” in his own strength to submission to God’s will, plan, and timetable. Hope is the certainty of God when we can’t see what’s next.

Life Group Questions for December 5

  1. What are some tabloid headlines this week? Who’s been in the grocery store line to read the covers?
    1. Why is our society so drawn to gossip and scandal? In this day and age, does the story need to be true?
    2. How do people typically react when facing an embarrassing situation?
  2. What are two positive qualities about your mom and dad that come to mind when you think back to your childhood?
    1. What do you know about your parents’ courtship?
    2. How did your parents pick your name? Who’s got a story?
  3. Had you been Mary, what would have first popped into your mind?
    1. What did Joseph initially think when he heard the news (Matthew 1:19)?
    2. How would you have felt if you were in Joseph’s place?
    3. Had this couple been in our church, how would our congregation have handled this awkward situation?
    4. How do you think the “grapevine” would have treated Mary and Joseph?
    5. How does it feel to be the victim of unsubstantiated rumors? When people attack your character and you know that you are innocent?
    6. Did the incidents in this passage likely strain or strengthen their marriage relationship?
  4. The passage tells us that Emmanuel is “God with us.” When did Jesus become a warm person to you, not just a character found in the pages of the Bible?
    1. How have you recently experience Jesus as Emmanuel? Who has a story?
    2. We all seek meaning and purpose in life, what does this passage say about the purpose of the incarnation (Matthew 1:21)?
  5. What do you learn about faith from Joseph?
  6. How will you respond the next time someone begins to tell you a juicy bit of gossip?
  7. Ken’s message was all about HOPE, 1) that it is from God, 2) points clearly to Jesus, 3) defines our journey of faith, and 4) calls us to true obedience.
    1. Where are you on this journey? 1) just starting, 2) at a rest stop, 3) on the shoulder with a flat, 4) nearing your destination, 5) not even packed, 6) somewhere else?
    2. What difficult, hard-to-swallow command of God do you need to obey today?
    3. What makes obedience so difficult?
    4. Who has a story about a time you stepped out in faith and God came through and made quite a difference in your life, or the life of someone else.

Get This for December 2

To subscribe to the Advent Readings for this season,
simply text the word ADVENT to 757-330-4484.

Greetings in the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

Immediately following the birth of our Savior, Joseph and Mary (in keeping with a strong Jewish custom) had Jesus presented at the temple (Luke 2).

Simeon, the righteous Jew at the temple that day, spoke a prophecy over the Christ-child that confirmed He was indeed the Messiah. When Joseph and Mary heard these words, they were amazed (Luke 2:33). This word amazed (or, astonished, marveled, etc.) was used in Luke 2:18 to describe the people’s response to the shepherds announcement of the birth of Christ. This word also appeared in the birth story of John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah.

The idea of “astonished” seems to follow the announcement of the Advent of Jesus Christ, and rightly so. After all, 3000 years of prophecy anticipated the holy night Jesus was born. Today, we should share in the response of the first century recipients of the news of Christ’s birth: astonished. This does not indicate surprise, but rather the amazement of how marvelous and miraculous God’s goodness becomes when experienced first hand.

“And all who heard the message were astonished at what was told to them by the shepherds.” (Luke 2:18)

“And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him.” (Luke 2:33)

Today, do we continue to marvel at the coming of our Savior? Do we truly live astonished at His majesty, His glory, and the reality that Jesus is “God with us”?

This advent season, do not lose the wonder. Continue to be astonished at the love of God made known the night the angels sang of our Savior’s birth.

I invite you to join me on each day of this advent season to be astonished again and again at the significance of the birth of Jesus Christ. I have provided a devotional reading for each day of Advent, beginning with Sunday, December 2.

To subscribe to these readings, simply text the word ADVENT to 757-330-4484.

I hope you will join me on this journey as we continue to live astonished at the miracle of our Savior’s birth.

I look forward to worshiping with you this Sunday.

Dr. Kenneth R. Pruitt
873 Little Neck Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23452
“And all who heard the message were astonished at what was told to them by the shepherds.”

Christmas Weekend at King’s Grant

That’s right, breakfast together as a community of faith on December 23. Sunday school classes are being asked to prepare the breakfast dishes. Come, enjoy, eat, fellowship, then gather in the sanctuary for worship at 10:00 that morning.

On Christmas Eve, we will gather at 5:00 pm for a time of candles, carols, and communion. Make King’s Grant a part of your family’s Christmas tradition.

The Season of Advent 2018

We are excited about what God is doing at King’s Grant and also for the opportunity to celebrate the coming of our promised Messiah, the Deliverer, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Come, Celebrate the Season with Us!

Celebrating Christmas. Experiencing Jesus.
“And all who heard…were astonished.” (Luke 2:18, NLT)

Sunday, December 2
Week One of Advent: HOPE that Proclaims a Name!
Matthew 1:18-25

Sunday, December 9
Week Two of Advent: JOY that Changes Everything
Luke 2:7-12; Matthew 2:10

Sunday, December 16
Week Three of Advent: PEACE that Overcomes and Overwhelms
Isaiah 9:6; Luke 2:13-14

Sunday, December 23
Week Four of Advent: LOVE that Astonished the World
Luke 2:15-20

Here is our calendar of Seasonal Events: 

The Announcement – God’s Voice Heard

The Announcement – God’s Voice Heard
Luke 1:26-38 (Week Two of Advent)

  1. God manifested His work in Mary so that Jesus Christ would be manifested to the World. (Luke 1:26-29)
  2. Mary encountered a crisis of fact and faith that only the truth of Jesus could resolve. (Luke 1:34)
  3. The Holy Spirit made the Purpose of Christ reality. (Luke 1:35)
  4. The reality of Christ caused worshipful obedience (Luke 1:36-38)

Questions for Further Discussion:

  1. When was an occasion that you received an unexpected honor?
  2. How do you tend to react when you receive unexpected good news?
  3. Who greeted Mary? Why? (Luke 1:26-28)
  4. How did Mary learn of her role in Jesus’ birth? (Luke 1:26-28)
  5. How did Mary feel when the angel appeared to her? (Luke 1:29-30)
  6. How did Gabriel describe the child that would be born to Mary? (Luke 1:31-33)
  7. What title would Jesus have? (Luke 1:32)
  8. What Old Testament personalities were part of Jesus’ royal line? (Luke 1:32-33)
  9. Why wasn’t Mary struck dumb by the angel as Zechariah was? (Luke 1:34)
  10. How did Mary’s response to the angel differ from Zechariah’s? (Luke 1:34, 38)
  11. Why did Gabriel mention Elizabeth’s pregnancy to Mary? (Luke 1:36-37)
  12. What kind of attitude was apparent in Mary’s response to the angel’s visit? (Luke 1:38)
  13. What did Mary’s final statement to Gabriel show about her relationship with God? (Luke 1:38)
  14. What do Mary’s responses to Gabriel tell us about the kind of people through whom God works?
  15. In what different ways do people respond to the story of Christ’s birth?
  16. What difference does it make whether or not a person believes that the child born to Mary was really the Son of God?
  17. How has the fact that “with God, nothing is impossible” taken root in your life?
  18. In what ways would you say Mary’s responses to Gabriel summarize what our relationship with God ought to be like?
  19. What “impossibilities” in your life do you want to thank God for this week?
  20. What can you do to maintain a servant’s attitude as you live from day to day?
  21. In what ways can you develop the kind of humble spirit that Mary had?

Blue Christmas Service 2017

Here is an Invitation … for you.

Ever notice how happy people seem to be around Christmas time? Everyone seems to be smiling, rushing around shopping for presents, attending parties, and looking forward to the various events of the season.

But what about those of us who aren’t quite feeling it? And what about those of us who are downright blue during the holidays? Sometimes there’s a reason – the loss of a loved one, or other memories we’d really rather not remember, and sometimes, it’s just what’s going on in the world around us, that beats us down and causes us not to enjoy the things we used to enjoy – like celebrating Christmas.

Where is our hope? Can we be honest without bringing everybody else down? Is it okay to feel this way? Is it normal!?

Ever ask those questions? If so, you might want to attend a special service:

A Blue Christmas – A Service of Hope (For Those Who are Grieving)
Wednesday, December 20th
6:30 pm

Come and share an honest look at the Hope of Christmas…

Celebrate in a new way.

And be comforted

The Story – God’s Plan Revealed

December 3
The Story. God’s Plan Revealed
Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7

  • The Story: from brokenness to redemption (Isaiah 9:1)
  • The Hope: divinely planned and forever assured (Isaiah 9:2)
  • The Person: a Light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What positive associations do you have with light?
  2. Although he had been preaching God’s judgment (particularly on the kingdom of Israel), what
    total reversal did Isaiah foresee in the future? (Isaiah 9:1)
  3. What contrasting images did Isaiah use to set the scene of his prophecy? (Isaiah 9:2)
  4. To what situations did Isaiah compare the joy that will be Israel’s? (Isaiah 9:3)
  5. What did Isaiah predict God would do for Israel, causing her to rejoice? (Isaiah 9:4-5)
  6. How does Isaiah describe the Ruler who will be provided by God for His people? (Isaiah 9:6-7)
  7. What attributes of God are apparent in this passage?
  8. How is God’s promise of the coming child an answer to His anger over our sin?
  9. How would you explain the Light that came into your darkness?
    Why might it be dangerous to downplay the seriousness of our situation whenever we encounter hardship?
  10. What specific injustice in your area of influence can you challenge in the name of God? How?
  11. What person do you know who is still “walking in darkness” for whom God would have you