Midweek Message 12/20/2022

MIDWEEK MESSAGE #137

Hello and welcome to Midweek Message #137.  I know this is a busy week for you getting ready for Christmas so I won’t “bend your ear” too long this week. I was speaking to someone the other day and we were talking about Christmas. I asked her if she was ready and then I said, “Or are you like 90% of the people who aren’t even close?” She smiled and said, “Yep.”

That same person told me her husband would be taking off for Alaska. His family lives in Nome. If my geography is right (and that is suspect since it wasn’t one of my stronger classes in high school) that is almost as far north as one can (wants to) get. She said they go to a certain place, then take a small plane, and then get another small plane. I say all that so you and I can keep in perspective that what we have here is not cold. It is already in the minuses there.  So what we think is cold is sorta like tropical to them. What’s funny is that her husband said, “I may have been raised there, but after a week I’m ready to come back. It’s too cold there.”  Anyway, enjoy the cold this week.  It most definitely will remind us it is winter.

I’d like to remind you again about this weekend. We will have a Christmas Eve service from 6-7:00 and one service on Sunday from 10-11:00.  The Sunday service only will be live streamed.  I honestly think you will enjoy either or both (if you are a glutton to hear the message/devotion twice). Christmas Eve will take a different approach musically but other than that all will be the same. I honestly don’t believe you will be disappointed in either, since both will give you an opportunity to focus on the birth of Jesus.  The young people will also be taking part in the service so you won’t to miss that! And we will conclude both services with a candlelight service.

Also wanted to let you know that the office hours will be a little different this coming week. It will be closed the day after Christmas (Monday).  We will all be in and out at different times this week so call ahead if you plan or need to stop by.

There will not be a Midweek Message next week. I know that has you crying crocodile tears but both Diana and I will be in & out of the office during the week so I want to take the pressure off both of us. It is hard to believe 2022 will soon be history and we will be turning the page of a new year. I’m praying for big things in 2023.  One of the biggest things for me is preaching on Revelation. That series begins on January 8th.  I have been working on the outlines and introductions for the sermons to be preached during January and February. Here are a couple of things you might also like to know:

The theme for 2023 is VICTORY! Diana has worked hard on a banner for the series and after several drafts we have come up with one. I can’t wait to unveil it to you. In fact, here is the banner!

The theme for the series on Revelation is The Lamb Wins!  I think it is a very appropriate theme for the whole book, not just the series.

I plan to take a break from The Lamb Wins! during the months of March and April and focus on To and After the Cross. Resurrection Sunday is in April (the 9th), so I want to focus our hearts on the people who were and are affected by the cross and resurrection.  Then I will be back to Revelation 6 on the first Sunday in May.

By the way: someone has asked about New Year’s Day worship. There will be two services as usual.  What better way to start out 2023 than being with other people studying the Bible and singing songs of praise?

I said I wouldn’t go too long this week. I aim to keep my word.  So let me close by giving you something to think about this week:

One of the most moving pictures during this time of the year is not the movie It’s a Wonderful Life (although that can elicit some tears as he realizes what he has). It isn’t when Scott Calvin comes to fully embrace his role as the new Santa Claus. ☺  It could be the rendering of the biblical Christmas story by Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas. Actually, it is something written (but not the biblical story). It is a short story by O’Henry called The Gift of the Magi. I suspect you have heard of it or read it. Can there be any more moving story than Jim & Della, a young couple in love, married, and dirt poor giving up to give? Della’s hair was long and flowing; Jim had a family heirloom watch. She cut her hair to buy him the chain and fob; he sold his watch to buy her combs for her hair. O’Henry finishes his story with these words:

“Let it be said that of all who give gifts, these two are the wisest. Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are the wisest. Everywhere they are the wisest. They are the magi.”

Read the whole story: https://www.owleyes.org/text/gift-magi/read/the-gift-of-the-magi#root-218982-8

Jo & I pray you will all have a joy-filled and blessed Christmas season.  The amount of love God has for us to come in the flesh is so overwhelming. May you know it to the fullest!

Pastor Bill

 

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