Become A Donor

Become A Donor
Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry.

Contact Info

684 West College St. Sun City, United States America, 064781.

(+55) 654 - 545 - 1235

Alleluia, Praise the Lord

Watch Now


Alleluia, Praise the Lord

First Sunday of Christmas

Alleluia, Praise the Lord

Let us pray. Lord God, You love us, You care for us, You are always here with us. We thank you for that. And may we be a people that, in the joy and the excitement of this season, may carry over through the year as we are people of praising You. God, You are our infinite other. You are beyond our imaginations, You are transcendent, You are imminent. You are our God, our Lord, our Savior, our Messiah. And we thank You for this. And in the joy of that good news may we be about sharing the gospel through our words and deeds, together as a congregation and as individuals and families too. Amen.

I was telling my adult Sunday school class about month or two back when we were talking about prayer that there’s an acronym for prayer that we can use. It’s ACTS. Now, don’t confuse that with the historical book in the New Testament, that comes right after the gospels. But ACTS, again, is an acronym. The A is for Acclamation. The C is for Confession. The T? Thanksgiving. And the S is for Supplication, prayers we pray for the world, for others, and yeah, its okay to include yourself in on those prayers too. So ACTS can be a good way to structure our prayers. Many of the devotional prayers I pray go right through A-C-T-S. But by all means you can do one or two, you don’t have to do ACTS every time you pray. Sometimes you may only focus on one thing. But it’s good to have that in your hip pocket, to know as a guide for how you can pray and to make sure that we’re praying across the spectrum. As I’ve said before when I was talking about giving thanks to God, our prayers shouldn’t just be about gimme gimme, right? But also about thanking God for the gifts received each and every day, including the gift of life that our God has given to us. So we want to be a people that are inclusive in our prayers. And we’re not just praying for ourselves, not just praying for our needs, but praying in thanksgiving, praying for other people.

And as we think of that acronym, ACTS, I believe that one of those four letters that’s neglected the most, even more than Thanksgiving, is Acclamation. Psalms 146-150- and we’re treated to Psalm 148 today- can really teach and edify here. They bring up the conclusion to the Psalter. They’re the last five Psalms in the book of Psalms, 150 of course. And each one of these Psalms- check it out at home- begins with the word “Alleluia” and ends with the word “Alleluia”. A translation of that word is “Praise the Lord”. And some translations of the Bible state it that way: “Praise the Lord” at the beginning of each of these Psalms and “Praise the Lord” at the end of each of the Psalms. These last five Psalms, the conclusion to the Psalter, which is primarily comprised of Psalms of need, Psalms that express concerns and fears, laments we call them. But there are also psalms of praise and thanksgiving and other types of Psalms too. But these Psalms, wrapping up the Psalter really encourage strong praise, do they not? And why shouldn’t they, as God is our everything. God is our creator. God is our redeemer. God is our sanctifier, sustainer. God is our everything. We’re utterly dependent on God for life and salvation. And as our everything, we should be about praising this good God, this benevolent God. and our Psalm for today- check it out- doesn’t it do just a masterful job of that? So much so that the Psalm brings the whole creation into praising God. “Praise the lord from the heavenly chorus”, the angels are called upon to praise God. Praise God, all inanimate objects: the sun, the moon, the stars. The sea monsters, or the life that is below the waters are called upon to praise God, birds are called upon to praise God here. The beasts and the cattle are called upon to praise God. And of course, people are called upon to do that. And even returning again to the inanimate objects: the mountains and the hills. The psalmist is calling upon all God’s creation to praise God. Sovereigns, or rulers to praise God and common people to praise God. Lets take praising God as seriously as the psalmist does.

Yes, let’s be people of praise like Simeon and Anna in our gospel text. At the presentation of Jesus by his parents in the temple, the prophets- they’re both prophets- Simeon and Anna acclaim claim Jesus as savior and redeemer. They’re really excited about this. And they want to share it with all in earshot. You know, during this Christmas season, we focus on God sending his Son into the world as our Savior. And I talked a little about the Christmas season in the children’s message. And some said “Oh Christmas is over now.” And it’s not surprising. In secular society, we gear up for Christmas starting in what, beginning of September at the latest? And as we gear up for it, if you notice on some of these channels that play Christmas music, on December 26th what happens? Right back to the secular. So it can be confusing. But the truth of the matter is that there are 12 days in Christmas. But the first day of Christmas is December 25th, it’s not the 12th day. So this is the 7th day, so those of you who know the song, what is it today? Seven swans a swimming. So we are in the midst of the Christmas season. We want to continue to proclaim, no matter what they’re doing out there, that Jesus is born.

Jesus is born. We remember the words of the angel from the beautiful nativity story that we read every Christmas Eve, what did the angel say to the shepherds? “For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior who is the Messiah or Christ, the Lord.” That’s who’s born to you. Can you hear any better news than that? It’s saying who Jesus is and he’s saying that Jesus is here for us; past present, and future people. Certainly we relish God’s presence, do we not? In good times and in bad. Be sure to know through this next year because were all going to take our lumps and bruises, as well as have our times of laughter and hilarity and pleasant feelings, know that God is always with us, even in the darkest of times. Even with the families right now that are experiencing the deaths that Pastor Andrew shared with you, the loss of loved ones in their lives. God is with us. What do we read in Old and New Testaments? “I will never leave you or forsake you.” God helps us through those times, gets us through those times, blesses us even in the midst of the worst problems and tragedies of life. God is present. So we know then that we’re cared for throughout eternity and we confidently do the Lord’s work, knowing that God’s spirit is with us. As we carry out a ministry and a mission, what can we be excited about doing here at Advent in our new year? There are a number of things on the burners of the stove, so to speak. Exciting things. We will continue to make a difference, not just for ourselves, but for this community and world. That work, the work which we do and will be doing: loving our neighbor, working in our own ways for peace and justice, promoting and enhancing the common good, sharing the good news to people who are hurting- begins by us joining that heavenly chorus and praising God. What’s the best word we can say for it? Alleluia! Praise the Lord. Amen.