Canticles of Christmas – a new series at Eastbrook Church

This coming Sunday at Eastbrook Church we begin our journey of Advent as well as a new preaching series entitled “Canticles of Christmas.” This series explores the prayers found in the Gospel of Luke, chapters 1-2, as doorways into the celebration of Advent and key theological revelations of God’s plan in Christ.

Here are the weekly topics for this five-part series, which surrounds our celebration of Christ’s nativity on December 24 and December 25:

November 27 – “May It Be Unto Me As You Have Said” (Fiat Mihi) – text: Luke 1:26-38

December 4 – “My Soul Glorifies the Lord” (Magnificat) – text: Luke 1:46-55

December 11 – “Praise Be to the Lord” (Benedictus) – text: Luke 1:67-79

December 18 – “Glory to God in the Highest” (Gloria)- text: Luke 2:8-20

December 24 – “And His Name Shall Be Called…Mighty God”

December 25 – “He Will Be Called Immanuel”

January 1, 2023 – “Now dismiss your servant in peace” (Nunc dimittis) – Luke 2:22-38

Along with the weekend preaching series, we will also have a devotional that will run from Advent through Christmas to Epiphany. You can access the devotional here.

Bibliography for “Hope Rising: 1 Thessalonians for Today”

When I conclude a sermon series, I usually share resources I utilized in my study and preparation for sermons. Here is the bibliography for our recent series, “Hope Rising: 1 Thessalonians for Today.”

Bibliography for “Hope Rising”

John Calvin. The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians. Trans. Ross Mackenzie. Ed. David W. and Thomas F. Torrance. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1961.

J. M. Everts. “Hope.” In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid, 415-417. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.

Cain Hope Felder. “1 Thessalonians.” In True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary, edited by Brian K. Blount, 389-400. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress, 2007.

Peter J. Gorday, editor. Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon.ACCS. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2000.

L. J. Kreitzer. “Eschatology.” In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Marting, and Daniel G. Reid, 253-269. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.

Jürgen Moltmann. Theology of hope: on the ground and the implications of a Christian eschatology. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1993.

Josef Pieper. Faith, Hope, Love. San Francisco, CA: Ignatius, 1986.

J. W. Simpson, Jr. “Thessalonians, Letters to the.” In Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, edited by Gerald F. Hawthorne, Ralph P. Martin, and Daniel G. Reid, 932-939. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1993.

Jeffrey A. D. Weima. 1-2 Thessalonians. ECNT. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2014.

N. T. Wright. Surprised by Hope. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.

Living Hope

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I concluded our series on 1 Thessalonians entitled “Hope Rising: 1 Thessalonians for Today.” This fifth and final week of the series I preached from 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28 on joining the melody of God’s hope in Jesus Christ with the variations of living response.

You can find the message outline and video below. You can access the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Living as the Good Community of God (1 Thessalonians 5:12-15)

Acknowledge those who serve

Warn those who are idle

Encourage those who are worn down

Turn from grudges

Strive to do good to one another and everyone

Living in Joy, Prayer, and Thanks (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Learning the Imperatives of hope

Learning the will of God

Living in the Holy Spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22)

Not quenching the Spirit

Living with discernment

Living into the Blessing of God (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

Yielding to the sanctifying work of God

Relying upon the faithfulness of God

Continuing as the Community of God (1 Thessalonians 5:25-28)

Mutual prayer

Mutual affection

Mutual edification

Mutual grace


Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Memorize 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 or 5:23-24
  • Make a joy or thankfulness inventory this week. Take time to write down at least 25 things you are thankful for or joyful about. Share this with friends or family sometime this week.
  • Choose a portion of this passage to draw, ink, or paint out in a way that expresses worship and prayer.
  • Consider reading:

Eastbrook at Home – November 20, 2022

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Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM. This weekend we conclude our series entitled “Hope Rising: 1 Thessalonians for Today.”

Here is a prayer for this Sunday, the celebration of Christ the King, from The Book of Common Prayer:

Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

If you are able to do so, let me encourage you to join us for in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus.

If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access the service directly via Vimeo, the Eastbrook app, or Facebook.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in your tithes and offerings to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

Future Hope

This past weekend at Eastbrook, I continued our series on 1 Thessalonians entitled “Hope Rising: 1 Thessalonians for Today.” This fourth week of the series I preached from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11 on how belief that God holds the future brings hope into the way we live with God now.

You can find the message outline and video below. You can access the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.


“Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Grieving, but with Future Hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13)

The Thessalonian believers’ grief

The rest of humankind grieves without hope because without Christ

The importance of grieving – even Jesus at the tomb of Lazarus

God’s Truth About Future Hope (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18)

What we believe about Christ and ourselves (4:14)

The teaching of Jesus on this, summarized by Paul (4:15-17)

Encourage one another with this future hope (4:18)

Living Now with Future Hope (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11)

The reality of the “day of the Lord” (5:1-3)

The contrast of night and day, darkness and light (5:4-8)

The truth on which we build our hope for the future (5:9-10)Encourage one another and build each other up with this future hope (5:11)


Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways: