Pastor Linda Settles
Dr. Linda Settles
"He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised,
and we held him in low esteem."
I love unexpected blessings! Like when my husband makes dinner (which is happening a lot lately!), or I get a phone call from an old friend. There’s something about the unexpected gift that warms your heart.
Jesus’ birth is the story of an unexpected gift. Born of a virgin, son of a carpenter, from Nazareth (from where nothing good had come). There was nothing especially great about Jesus’ looks that drew folks to Him. In fact, He was despised and rejected when He came. Yet there was something about Him. Something…unexpected.
God uses the unexpected blessing as a sign of hope for the world. That hope lies in the fact that God sent an unlikely Savior to prove the surpassing greatness of Jesus’ redeeming power!
We desperately need hope today. We are still in the midst of a global pandemic. The economy continues to put a strain on finances, and relationships continue to be estranged. We pray for those who are finding it hard to hold onto hope. We especially lift up our Green Trails Business Manager, Zufan, as her home country Ethiopia goes through a traumatic civil uprising. As she awaits news from relatives there, we wait in hope with her.
Jesus’ power shows up in unexpected places, in unexpected ways, and in unexpected people. He was with Moses - a liar and murderer; He was with Jacob, the trickster; He was with a shepherd boy when all he had was five little stones and a big God. And Jesus is with you today. He is Emmanuel, God with us. The unlikely Savior brings unexpected hope to the world!
This Sunday is the first Sunday of the Advent season. A time of hope. A time when we remember the birth of our Savior, even as we expectantly await His second coming. Worship with us online this Sunday at 10:00am, at www.umcgt.org, (not Livestream) as we celebrate Unexpected Hope and an Unlikely Savior.