November 29, 2018
Good morning congregation,
Winter has arrived. We are in the middle of deer season. Farmers are mostly done with harvest. Christmas music is playing in many places. Lights are lit, people are shopping, heart rates are rising, blood pressures are going up and we call this season Advent. A time when we remember the birth of Jesus who came to forgive our sins. Who modeled how we should live. Jesus came to take away our fear, fill us with joy and provide comfort in all our life. I find it amazing that during this holiday that is about peace and comfort, we allow ourselves to be stressed and busy.
Jesus is Emanuel, God with us. I would encourage you to allow his peace and presence to comfort you and give you hope. Allow his presence to take away your fear and empower you. Allow his presence to shine forth from you.
This past Sunday we talked about what it looks like when we live under God, when we focus on what is the least that we need to do to gain entrance into heaven and eternity with God. We talked about how easy it can be for us to focus on certain behaviors to try to appease God instead of just walking with him and of having him at the center of who we are and what we are about. This week we will be talking about the posture of Living Over God. I’m sure that most, if not all, of us would say that we are not atheist. But how often do we try to manipulate God, or how often do we leave God out of the equation? It can be easy for us to see life as happening and there is no way that we can change anything. It’s in motion and it is what it is. We can so easily be like the priest and move to the other side of the road because we have our responsibilities and caring for the person beaten might hamper that. We can easily move to a series of self-help steps to fix something within ourselves or how to get to where we want to be. Seven steps to freedom, 7 habits of highly effective people…the list can go on and on. We focus more on following certain steps or ways of doing things than we do on building the relationship WITH God. You can read Luke 10 in preparation.
We will be doing a special Christmas offering this year on December 23. This offering will be to make a difference in our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The monies will be used to share Christ and make a difference in people’s lives in places that represent each of these areas.
This weekend it is an honor to have Keegan, Allie, and Lincoln McCarthy with us. Keegan is our candidate for Associate Pastor with an emphasis on worship. Come on Sunday and learn to know them better and be a part of our worship. We will be having a carry-in lunch following 11:00 a.m. service (approximately 12:15 p.m.). Keegan will share his testimony and will have a question and answer time.
Each day I see the pile of stuff under and around the tree growing. These items are used for Fulton County Christmas Cheer. There is still time to get a tag off the tree and purchase items – bring by this Sunday. All these items are given away right here in our community to families that are in need.
Thanks to all of you for your generosity. It does make a difference. The kids collected hundreds of items for the Food Pantry at Wauseon School. Thanks for helping. If you want to bring more items in they are really needed around the Christmas holiday!