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November 25, 2018

Sermon: “Hidden Figures”: Why Worship?

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Scripture Lesson

1 Samuel 1:1-3, 9-11, 17; Luke 1:5-14

Samuel’s Birth and Dedication
There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. She made this vow: ‘O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.’ Then Eli answered, ‘Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.’

The Birth of John the Baptist Foretold
In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly order of Abijah. His wife was a descendant of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments and regulations of the Lord. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were getting on in years. Once when he was serving as priest before God and his section was on duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense. Now at the time of the incense-offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,

Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
“Hidden Figures”: Why Worship?
1 Samuel 1:1-3, 9-11, 17; Luke 1:5-14

I. Introduction: Calvin and Hobbes
II. Advent series: “Hidden Figures”
     A. Advent
     B. Charting Luke
III. Two stories, same messages
     A. Elkanah and Hannah (1 Sam. 1:1-17)
         1. A difficult time in Israel (1 Sam. 3:1)
         2. Hannah is barren (1:2)
         3. Faithfulness
             a. Worship (1:3)
                 b. Prayer (1:10)
         4. Answered prayer (1:17)
     B. Elizabeth and Zachariah (Lk. 1:5-14)
         1. A difficult time in Israel (1:5)
         2. Elizabeth is barren (1:7)
         3. Faithfulness
                a. Worship (1:6, 8)
                b. Prayer (1:13)
         4. Answered prayer (1:13)
IV. What does this mean for us at Advent?
     A. Find your story in scripture
     B. Know that there will be difficult times
     C. Be faithful
         1. Worship
         2. Prayer
     D. Put yourself in the place where God works
     E. God will bring
         1. New life from bareness (1 Sam. 1:17; Lk. 1:13)
         2. “Joy and gladness” from despair (Lk. 1:14)
V. Conclusion: Ethel Waters (1896-1977)


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