What’s on your calendar?

snow

Dec. 11: Women’s Christmas Party 6:30 p.m. (at the home of a member)

Dec.14:   Advent Service at 7:00 p.m. (meal before)

Dec. 21: Children’s Christmas Service at 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 24: Christmas Eve Worship Service at 7:00 p.m
Dec. 25: Christmas Day Worship Service at 10:30 a.m.

Dec. 31: New Years’ Eve (no service)
Jan. 1:    New Years Day 2017 Worship at 10:30 a.m.

Luther's_Rose4

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Second Sunday in Advent

candle 2In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. – Luke 2:1-7

  • Dec. 7th:  Advent Service at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 14th:Advent Service at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 21st: Children’s Christmas Service at 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 24th: Christmas Eve Service at 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 25th: Festival of Christmas Service at 10:30 am
  • Dec. 31st: New Year’s Eve (no service)
  • Jan. 1st: New Year’s Day Service at 10:30 a.m.
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Hark the glad sound! The Savior comes

mary2Hark the glad sound! The Savior comes, the Savior promised long;
Let every heart prepare a throne, and every voice a song.

He comes the captives to release, in Satan’s prison held.
The gates of brass before Him burst, the iron fetters yield.

He comes the broken heart to bind, the bleeding soul to cure,
And with the treasures of His grace, to enrich the humble poor.

Our glad hosannas, Prince of Peace, Your welcome shall proclaim
And heaven’s eternal arches ring with Your beloved name.

~ Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751

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Advent ~ the rising sun will come to us from heaven

Worship: Wednesdays at 7 p.m. until Christmas (6:15 for a light meal)

Advent is a time to step away from the worldly hubub of Christmas, and see it for what it really is: The almighty God, creator of the whole universe, sent his only beloved Son to earth to free all people from the death grip of Satan.

zachjohn2When Jesus arrived on earth, so did another very special baby, and when that child grew up he gave people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins in Jesus Christ.

At the birth of John the Baptist, Zechariah, John’s father, was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied.

His first prophesy was about Jesus Christ:

Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel,
because he has come to his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a horn [strong king] of salvation for us
in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago),
salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us—
to show mercy to our ancestors and to remember his holy covenant,
the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies,
and to enable us to serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. ~ Luke 1:68-75

His second prophesy was about his own son, John the Baptist:

And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him,
to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,
because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.” ~ Luke 1: 76-79

holly2

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hats, gloves, mittens, socks…

hollyHats, gloves, mittens, and socks will be gathered in December for homeless shelters in our city. Watch for a big box in the entryway.

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Advent Wreath?

wreath

.Have you ever thought about those special candles that appear  during the Christmas season?  Why are they there?  What do they represent?  Click below to learn about the meaning of the Advent Wreath.

The Meaning of the Advent Wreath 

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Advent: The first and second coming of Jesus

Advent: from Latin adventus, meaning arrival.

The first coming (advent) of Jesus; how silently, the wondrous gift is given!

vintageThe time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” ~ Luke 2: 6b-12

The second coming (advent) of Jesus; the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised!

“So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  ~ Matthew 24:26-27 (Jesus speaking)

According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.  ~ 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

Join us on Wednesdays at 7 pm, Thanksgiving until Christmas, to learn more about Christ’s arrival and his returning.

Posted in Advent and Christmas, All posts, Devotions & Meditations

First Sunday in Advent

candle 1In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.” – Luke 1:26-33

Advent Services: Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. starting Nov. 30th

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God’s love is great!

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. ~ 1 John 3:1-3

pxbible“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us!” Love which the world produces has limits. It lasts only as long as people get satisfaction out of it or as long as it serves their self-interests.

God’s love, on the other hand, is unselfish, changeless, eternal. We can see his love in action at the cross where he was not motivated by convenience but by his commitment to save us. His love serves our best interests, not his. He always loves.

He knows everything about us, and still he showers us with love. He loves in spite of the fact that we have offended him in private and in public. He loves us through Jesus Christ who laid down his life to make things right between us and our heavenly Father. God the Father’s love may be foreign to us, but it is powerfully effective. It leads us to repent, to turn away from sin, and transforms us from outsiders to members of his family.

“And that is what we are!” Our Father in heaven sees us through the lens of the holy sacrifice that his Son made to pay for our sins on the cross, and he is pleased to call us his children. In Christ and through faith in him, that is what we are! God sent Jesus to buy us freedom from the curse and power of sin and to adopt us into his family.

When you are feeling insignificant or someone makes you feel worthless, always remember, God loves you and is pleased to say, “You are my child.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe that I am your child. Help me today to reflect what it means to be your child. Help me to be patient. Help me to forgive. Help me to love. Amen.

WhatAboutJesus.com

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