Learning From The Ghosts Of Our Past

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

Are your past experiences shaping your present more than you realize? Are you carrying the weight of past sorrows, loneliness, and pain, like Scrooge from A Christmas Carol? We invite you to join our exploration of this timeless tale as we draw parallels to our own lives, seeking hope and transformation. This episode is your reminder that it's possible to make peace with your past and fully embrace the redemption that awaits. We'll also shed light on how the pandemic has amplified feelings of isolation and loneliness, and how we can navigate through these challenging times.

Moving forward, we delve into the debilitating fear of poverty that hardened Scrooge into a cold, isolated being. We'll explore how confronting these fears and insecurities, much like Scrooge, can spark a journey towards redemption. We'll discuss the folly of placing our trust in material possessions and the importance of seeking solace in Christ and the companionship of others. Drawing inspiration from the Philippians passage, we challenge you to reevaluate the values you've inherited from your past and consider renouncing them to faithfully follow God. Come, embark on this transformational journey with us.


  • First Reading: Isaiah 40:1-11
  • Second Reading: Philippians 2:5-11
View Order of Worship View Message Transcript View Small Group Discussion Guide

This Week's Reading Plan

Day: Reading:
Monday Eagles' Wings: Isaiah 40:25-31
Tuesday The Servant's Mission: Isaiah 49:1-6
Wednesday Help Comes from God: Isaiah 50:4-9
Thursday A Suffering Servant: Isaiah 53:1-9
Friday Come to the Waters: Isaiah 55:1-5
Saturday God's Word Accomplishes Its Purpose: Isaiah 55:6-13
Sunday Returning from Exile: Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4, 10-13

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: Loving God, as I awaken to this new day, I invite You into the echoes of my past experiences. Help me understand the shaping they have done in my life, and guide me towards healing and redemption. In this new dawn, remind me of the power of Your transformative love and the hope it brings. In the name of Your son Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen.

  • Evening Prayer: Dear Lord, as I end this day, I thank You for Your presence and Your promise of redemption. I pray that I can find security in Your eternal love, and that through my actions and words, others may also come to know Your redeeming grace. As I rest tonight, renew my spirit for another day of faithful service. Amen.

  • Reflection Question: The sermon emphasized the power of past experiences in shaping our present. Can you share an example from your own life where a past event significantly impacted your present outlook or behavior? 

  • Reflection Question: In the sermon, loneliness is discussed as a major theme from A Christmas Carol. How do you think loneliness can shape an individual's behavior and outlook? Can you draw parallels from any biblical characters who faced loneliness and how they coped with it? (Reference: Psalm 68:6)

  • Reflection Question: The sermon drew a contrast between Scrooge and Christ, especially in terms of their values and priorities. How does Christ's example challenge us to reevaluate our own values and priorities? (Reference: Philippians 2:5-11)