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O Come, Thou Key of David

During this time of the year, many of us succumb to the chaotic busyness that inevitably comes with the Christmas season. Attempting to avoid all the stress, commercialism and consumerism is not an easy task. But amidst all the hustling and bustling that tends to drown out the good news of Christ’s first coming, the anticipation of Christ’s second coming should also resonate through our hearts and minds at this time. Just as there is great anticipation that comes with the day of Christmas as we string up lights, put up the tree, place presents underneath its boughs, and prepare a feast fit for a king, so we should be actively anticipating the second Advent all the more. Jesus says to John in the third chapter of Revelation, “I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.” This text reveals the One who holds the key of David has all the rights, privileges, power and authority. It is He who comes, and it is He who will establish and reward His faithful ones as He opens wide our heavenly home. We celebrate the first Christmas, because we know there’s a second coming. Instead of being swept away by the decorations and gifts, and falling for the feelings of Christmas, long for Him who holds the key of David, and rejoice, for Emmanuel shall come again. - Pastor Nate Wagner Read More

O Come, Thou Dayspring

December is the darkest month of the year, and we will soon experience the darkest day of the year. We don’t particularly enjoy the darkness, but it provides a fitting time of year for the celebration of Christmas. The Scriptures compare our sin to darkness (cf. Rm. 1:21; Isa. 9:2), and Jesus Christ to a light (cf. Jn. 1:4-5; Isa. 9:2). Christmas bursts into our calendar at the darkest most depressing time of the year with lights, celebrations, and parties. So also, when sin is at its darkest, the incarnation provides light and hope in the glory of Jesus Christ and the gospel. The hope of Christmas is light instead of darkness; peace instead of brokenness; and righteousness instead of sin. As the Dayspring continues His rise in our hearts, may He chase away the deathly shadows and guide us into peace. Read More

O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse

As we begin the celebration of the Advent season, the reality of Christ’s first coming ought to naturally cause us to anticipate His second coming—the sermon text for this week does just that. Isaiah 11 is rich in imagery as the prophet calls our attention to the description and the rule of “the Shoot of Jesse.” In verse 5 we are told that He will wear the belt of righteousness and faithfulness. Interestingly enough, the Apostle Paul appears to make direct application for the believer by calling us to wear "the belt of truth" (Eph. 6:14). He goes on to highlight the rest of God’s armor from the text of Isaiah 59. As believers we are called to live and proclaim truthfulness and righteousness. The Shoot of Jesse compels us to be a people of impeccable integrity in a world of sin and corruption. How easy it is to cave in to the need for human approval or shrink back because of the fear of man. Yet, Isaiah says, “ His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD” (11:3), and for this reason the Shoot of Jesse “does not judge by what His eyes see or by what His ears hear.” Rather, He lives in total commitment to truth, which is expressed by His delight in the fear of Yahweh. Standing in awe of God is the key to living and proclaiming truth unashamedly. As we await the glorious return of Christ, may the truth of God’s Word guide us in our pursuit to live and look like Jesus. - Pastor Nate Wagner Read More