SERVICE SUMMARY: Have you ever wrestled with God? Every person of faith knows what it’s like to doubt; every Christian has wrestled with God in some way. A man named Jacob once wrestled with God in a way that changed his life forever. Join us this Sunday for the first Sunday in Advent series, When God Appears.
In a very real sense, the Christian community lives in Advent all the time… The disappointment, brokenness, suffering, and pain that characterize life in this present world is held in dynamic tension with the promise of future glory that is yet to come. In that Advent tension, the church lives its life.
—Fleming Rutledge, Advent
1 Peter 5:6-11
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
22 The same night [Jacob] arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. 24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” 29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip on the sinew of the thigh.
CONFESSION OF SIN
We take for ourselves what you have promised to give in time.
We confess our impatience with you.
We choose to fulfill our desires in sinful and inordinate ways.
We confess our lack of self-control.
We look to temporary things to satisfy us.
We confess our lack of hope.
We judge bitterly those people and circumstances that make us wait.
We confess that we have not loved well.
We need your mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Lord Jesus Christ, give us grace to wait for you until you come again. Amen.
SONG TO CONSIDER
1. Light after darkness, gain after loss,
Strength after weakness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, hope after fears,
Home after wandering, praise after tears.
2. Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Sight after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last.
Weeping may remain for a night
But joy arrives in morning’s new light
I’ll praise the God of merciful plight
Still I will praise him, still I will praise him, my God.
3. Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb;
After long agony, rapture of bliss,
Right was the pathway, leading to this.
You give and you take away
In darkness still I will say:
“A good God I serve this day.”
Still I will praise you, still I will praise you.
Words: Frances Ridley Havergal, 1879 (verses); Zac Hicks, 2008 (chorus & bridge)
Chorus & Bridge based on Psalm 30:5 & Job 1:21
Music: Zac Hicks, 2009
(c)2009 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)