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Saturday, Third Week of Advent




As a part of our Advent observances at Grace, we are making use of Concordia Publishing’s Behold the Child materials for worship. Our web devotions through Christmas will be guided by Pastor Kevin Golden’s devotional booklet written in support of the Behold the Child theme (you may purchase a downloadable copy of Pr. Golden’s book by following this link).





Prayer Pointers:

For confidence in God in all of life

For your plans to be rooted in God’s purposes for you





Text: Psalm 146:6



Your confidence is in Christ’s faithfulness, not your own. –Pr. Golden

THERE HAS BEEN A SHIFT in the way that we talk about faith over the last one hundred years. As we think more and more of ourselves as individuals with our own particular tastes, desires and goals, we tell ourselves and teach each other that believing is more important or more necessary than what we believe. It is enough that we have faith, that we believe...in something, and we won’t dig too deeply at what is believed, because the object of our belief is intensely personal, addressing our all-important identity.


A lighthearted example of our idea of belief is found in that other famous Peanuts special, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. Linus, the gang’s amateur theologian, is certain that there is a Great Pumpkin who comes on Halloween to bring toys to good children. Challenged to abandon his belief by Charlie Brown, Linus retorts “when you stop believing in that fellow with a red suit and the white beard who goes, "Ho, ho, ho!” Charlie Brown can only sigh and chalk up the conflict to denominational differences. By the end of the show, Linus has missed out on the fun of Halloween, spending a cold, bitter night in a pumpkin patch notable only for its “sincerity.” Linus believes, but the object of his faith is fallible—he is fortunate that acting on faith in such an idol is no more disastrous than a single cold, sleepless night.


The Christian message is not so much about the depth of our faith, but clarity about faith’s object. God comes to us, makes us a promise, gives to us gifts that show his faithfulness. It is not about our sincerity at all; when our faith is faltering, the antidote is to take hold of our Lord, whose strength, whose steadfastness, whose care is the rock on which to build a life.



May you live in Advent hope ~ Pr. Dave Brooks




--Quoted materials are from Behold the Child Daily Devotions #12-4563

© 2019 Concordia Publishing House. Used with permission under license 20:12-1. www.cph.org

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Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church

824 N. Buchanan Blvd. 

Durham, NC 27701

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824 North Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC 27701 | 919-682-6030  | www.gracelutheranchurch.net

Mission Statement: We are called to Welcome Everyone to Walk the Way of GRACE, and walk in that way in our individual lives, in our shared life in our various communities, in our common life with our neighbors, and even to the world at large as God sends us. The Way of Grace is to: GROW with Jesus, REJOICE in God, ANSWER with hope, CARE for the neighbor, and EMBRACE community.

Vision Statement: God has a plan FOR OUR LIVES, and so we teach how to walk in the path of Jesus Christ; FOR OUR NEIGHBORHOODS, and so we work to build healthy and strong communities; FOR OUR CITY, and so we share life with our neighbors in Walltown, Trinity Park, Duke, and the Triangle; and FOR OUR WORLD, and so we go with Good News.

Core Values: Because God loves us first, we value worship rooted in Scripture and Sacraments, service to all people, and being a welcoming community that loves and forgives one another.