St. John’s Baptist Church

Worship | Sundays @ 10:30am

Hope-Inspired Action

The St. John’s Pulpit

St. John’s Baptist Church    300 Hawthorne Lane    Charlotte, NC 28204



Jeremiah 33:14-16 and Luke 12:25-36
The First Sunday of Advent, December 2, 2018

by Senior Minister, Rev. Dennis W. Foust, PhD



A boy was playing in the yard one evening and lost his baseball in the bushes near the house. His mother went outside to help him search. She was looking in the bushes and asked him why he was looking out by the street. The boy responded, “I think the light is better over here.”


What have you lost this past year?

A loved one; a partner; a relationship; a dream; a job; a vocational path; an aspect of your health?

A sense of closeness with God; a meaningful prayer life; a desire to grow in Christ; a positive spirit?

Advent calls you to stop looking for what you have lost by searching under artificial light.  Discovering what you have lost begins by looking at life through the light of God’s hope. Advent beckons you to realize The Light of the World is already here and is being born anew.


Jeremiah prophesied of the coming of the Lord.

Jesus told us to look for signs of his presence – but not in shopping malls or gift catalogs.

Jesus told us to avoid dissipation of commitment; encouraging us to refuse drowning our fears

and worries in anything that intoxicates us or dulls our capacity to be alert.

Jesus told us to be so hopeful that we expect him to show up in every situation.

God does not offer a hope that is like an opium focused on the beyond.

God offers a hope that is a divine power making us alive in the here and now.


Consider all those persons who have left hope-full fingerprints on your life.

Picture their faces; consider their commitments; contemplate their character.

Did they search for the meaning of life under artificial lights of materialism or opportunism?

Did they find a purpose for their lives in political manipulations or social expectations?

Or, tell me; did they find their meaning and purpose in the eternal light of God’s hope?



Yes, yes, I know; the world is in a mess.

Corruption, revenge, malice and greed carry the headlines.

People all around us, including some good and religious people, are trying to find what the

world has lost by looking in the wrong places.

Yet, beloved, the distress of the world can only be alleviated by the people of God affirming the

Truth of God’s Good News Story of Reconciliation which is incarnated in Jesus.



on this first day of a new Christian Year,

let us renew ourselves to Hope-Inspired Action.

Wherever love is expressed as a transaction,

let us offer compassion!


Although society affirms self-aggrandizement and rewards self-absorption,

let us be servants!


In this age of skepticism and cynicism,

let us live in the light of God’s hope!


In this distracted

and distracting world,

let us be attentive to God’s in-breaking hope-giving presence!


Let us leave God’s hope-full fingerprints on the lives of others!

For God in Christ has come to stay!

Amen and AMEN