Tuesday at 7 a.m., Men's Bible Study here at the church.
Women's Community Bible Study, 9:45 a.m. with luncheon after.
Faith in Fabrics, December 14,10:00 a.m.
Sunday, December 17, Christmas Program, 4:00 p.m. with dinner following the program. Meal will be provided. Bring cookies and treats to share.
Kelly shared about the Salvation Army family we "adopted" to help, a mom and two little girls. Goods need to be brought in by a week from Monday, Dec. 18.
Please see Kelly or the signup sheet to bless a family with Christmas.
RoseAnn said that Tuesday is deadline to bring cookies for the jail.
The Second Sunday of Advent readings were about the transformational power of God to make things new and about how God enters into situations in unexpected ways.
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Terry White welcomed us and led us in a time of worship. The children came up and Susan Jessico led a children's talk about the notion of all things New. First, the kids were asked what their favorite candy was to eat at this time of year. Some of the youngest said "Cookies." But Candy Canes took the most votes in the second row. Susan's lesson centered on M&Ms, but the center of the lesson was a set of Bible verses on the Christmas Story.
We sang O Come All Ye Faithful while the offering was taken and then entered in to a time of public prayer and praise.
The Status Quo
Luke 1:26-56 and the story of the birth of our Lord.
How often do we read about stories where God enters into a regular life and it is radically altered? Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses... And in today's reading from the Gospel of Luke.
God alters lives. But change is not always something we readily embrace. We have a tendency to prefer the Status Quo, to prefer the way things are rather than altered. Change challenges us, but it's an inevitability that we ought to actually expect. At some point in time our apple carts get upended.
In reality, things are always changing, whether we're growing or dying. God is all about making things new.
There are moments when you find yourself in over your head... Mary was aware that this "blessing of God" was not going to be an easy path for her.
Mary asks, "How will this be?" The answer is profound yet doesn't really answer the question or solve everything. How would you have responded? Verse 38 is Mary's response. "I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” It is a response of acceptance.
We live in a world where problems get solved in the 30 minutes of a TV episode. But real life is not that way. How we react to life's events is key.
In Mary's reaction we see modeled what our reaction to all life events should be. Mary, pregnant and not married, says, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior."
"He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”
She is mindful of the long story of God's people that preceded this event... and gave glory to God.
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We closed with Hark the Herald, Pastor White drawing attention to the theology contained in this classic hymn by Charles Wesley.
Christ, by highest Heav’n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th’incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.