THE miracle of Christmas is that eternal, unchangeable God became a finite and changing baby -- not to mention a baby who needed changing! The baby in the manger we’ll worship on Christmas is God. God prepared the world for him by other miracles. For the next four weeks, we are asking God to prepare us for him by our study of four miracles that occurred long before Jesus was born but which point to all that God would accomplish through his birth. Welcome to Advent: a season to prepare us to celebrate Jesus’ birth by preparing also for Jesus’ return.
Not many of us like an argument, though some of us do. In Acts 15, we see how the early church resolved a serious argument. It was about bacon. And rare steak. And circumcision. What makes such things serious? Because it would have been possible to take the best news in the universe and twist it into being not good news at all. Thankfully, that didn't happen. We’re glad you’ve joined our family of faith today to praise and thank God for the freedom he's given us and his instructions on how to use it.
No one, given the option, would choose to suffer. No moral person likes to watch another suffer. Yet, the Bible tells us suffering is necessary on our way to the kingdom of God. Moses, Paul, Peter, Jesus, and a host of other biblical characters suffered necessarily. What about you? What good is your suffering? We’re glad you’re with us to seek the answer in the Spirit's truth delivered through the apostle Paul on his first missionary journey. What we find won't make us suffer more, but we will find God's plan for us to suffer better. May God bless you through it and through your worship today.
Welcome to the gathering of saints. This weekend we’re learning from the pattern of the very first Christians. They loved the needy. They called out the idols. Idols? I've never bowed down to anything. Yes, but everybody lives for something. Something gives meaning to your life. That's your god. The good news is that there is a much better one; one who satisfies like nothing else can. His name is Jesus and he’s the only one who will satisfy you when you trust him and forgive you when you fail him. He's the one we’re here to worship.