Rahab has a line waiting out her back door. Men, lined up at her inn, wanting a place to lie down, wanting a piece of her. In a town with no Sabbaths, no lines of God’s word ever read, no prophets with the message of a coming visitation from heaven, she’s one woman alone with the grime of too many nights on her hands, the weight of too many wounds on her heart – a woman who looks up at her godless mess and sees the tenderness of God. In a place of faithlessness and doubtfulness and godlessness, God gives God. The God who can reveal himself wherever, whenever, to whomever; the God who is never limited by lack or restricted to the expected; the God who is no respecter of persons, but the relentless rescuer of prodigals; the God who gives the gift of faith in places you’d most doubt. That is always the secret to the abundant life: to believe that God is where you doubt God can be. (Ann Voskamp)
Yesterday as we continued our Advent series, we explored the narrative from Joshua 2. While it might seem like a strange Advent text, I wrapped my message around this big idea: God’s greatest gifts come in the most surprising places to the most surprising people in the most surprising ways.
Rahab, a surprising character from Jericho, put her hope in the one, true God and the scarlet cord she placed in her window was a sign of God’s grace, mercy and rescue in her life.
This Advent season, what are you placing your hope in? Or again to quote Voskamp, “How strong a cord seems – until your life slips off the edge of a cliff and you lunge for something to hold on to. One braid of fibers enough to hold you – that’s your literal only hope.”
Ultimately, our hope is in God, the greatest gift, the surprising gift of grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. He is our scarlet cord!
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Mighty Fortress (Aaron Shust and Paul Baloche)
- Whom Shall I Fear (Chris Tomlin)
- His Company (Daniel Renstrom)
- Advent Litany for Peace
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
- Advent Conspiracy Update
- Announcements and Offering
- Message (The Surprising Gift)
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Aaron Shust arrangement)
You can learn what other faith communities experienced this past weekend at The Worship Community.