Caught In Chains We Cannot See

Pastor Kevin Rutledge - 12/3/2023 10:00 AM

Join us this First Sunday of Advent for "The Chains We Cannot See," part of our series on the "Redemption of Scrooge." Inspired by Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," we explore unseen chains binding us, mirroring Scrooge's journey. Like a blacksmith shaping iron, our struggles refine us. Christ, love incarnate, helps break these chains, offering liberation and lasting peace amid life's storms. Discover the transformative journey towards internal serenity, resilience, and growth. This Advent, embrace the continuous process of breaking free and find enduring peace within, a source of stability amidst life's challenges.


  • First Reading: Jeremiah 33:14-18
  • Second Reading: Luke 16:19-31
View Order of Worship View Message Transcript View Small Group Discussion Guide

This Week's Reading Plan

Day: Reading:
Monday Young Jews in Exile: Daniel 1:1-7
Tuesday Faithful Living in a New Land: Daniel 1:8-17
Wednesday The Wise Exiles: Daniel 1:18-21
Thursday Worship the Golden Statue: Daniel 3:1-7
Friday Three Faithful Men: Daniel 3:8-18
Saturday The Fiery Furnace: Daniel 3:19-30
Sunday Comfort, Comfort My People: Isaiah 40:1-11

This includes only the sermon portion of the service.

Reflections and Caring Conversations

Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.

  • Morning Prayer: Heavenly Father, as I start my day, I am reminded of your boundless love and mercy. Open my eyes to the chains that may be binding me and hindering my walk with You. I ask for the wisdom to recognize them, and the strength to cast them aside. Help me to fully embrace the transformative power of Your grace, as we explore in our recent sermon. Let my actions today reflect Your love, compassion, and kindness. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

  • Evening Prayer: Lord of Comfort, as I reflect on the day, I acknowledge my fears, regrets, and the chains that may have bound me. Help me to confront these chains and strive for transformation. Help me to embrace the wisdom from our beloved Christmas stories and use it to inspire my personal growth. As I sleep tonight, may I rest in Your assurance of hope and freedom. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

  • Reflection Question 1: Considering the parallels drawn in the sermon between the rich man in the biblical story of Lazarus and Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol," how can we recognize and address any similar attitudes of indifference or selfishness in our own lives?

  • Reflection Question 2: The sermon discusses the concept of being bound by metaphorical chains, which may be caused by past experiences, present circumstances, or fears of the future. Reflect on what chains might be holding you back in your life and consider ways you might work towards breaking free from them.

  • Reflection Question 3: The sermon discusses the role of the Holy Spirit in helping us recognize the chains that bind us. How can we become more attuned to the Spirit's guidance in our journey towards self-discovery and transformation?