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Let’s just flip a coin…
This weekend in the NFL playoffs, one team or the other will get the advantage of having the first chance to score by the flip of a coin. Some games are so close it seems the coin flip may have made the difference. Is that fair? Maybe it doesn’t really matter—it’s just the NFL.
But what if it were one of your major life decisions? Would you choose where you would live by the flip of a coin. Would you choose your vocation or service in that way? Would you want to determine guilt or innocence in a capital offense by the casting lots—which is a lot like flipping a coin?!
Nehemiah 11:1-2 describe big decisions, and significant personal sacrifices in following God’s will. This Sunday we’ll talk about how to know God’s will and living in it.
Let’s live in God’s New Life
This Sunday we return to our series in Nehemiah. In chapter 10, the people gather to reaffirm that they are in a covenant relationship with God. There are similarities and differences between their relationship to God with ours today. We won’t be lining up and signing commitments of what we will do to stay in God’s blessing and not be cursed—that’s not for us. But we can, at the start of this new year, reaffirm and celebrate the privilege we have to live in God’s new life in his New Covenant through Jesus. Let’s celebrate this privilege in song, prayer, word and Lord's table this Sunday.
Happy New Year! (Philemon)
Happy New Year! Here’s a quick question for you as you contemplate your resolutions… How easily do you forgive? It appears the last couple of years have provided an opportunity-rich environment for more and more division. Have you missed any opportunities to give or request forgiveness? Me too. This week we’ll be looking at the book of Philemon together to see what Christianity looks like in the midst of a fallen world and how Christians are called to live within broken structures.
After Nativity: Longing for Joy...
Being under a “Covid Quarantine” has caused me to long all the more to be with our family in worship and we look forward to being with you for the Candlelight service on Christmas Eve and for a combined worship service at 11 am on Sunday the 26th, even if it snows!
Having our grandson Jamie with us has reminded me of that childlike longing for Christmas. At least once a day he asks if it is Christmas yet. He fully expects the arrival of Christmas to bring great joy and happiness. We will do what we can to make those dreams come true, and yet for Jamie Christmas day will still conclude with the disappointing arrival of bedtime… his hopes for fullness of joy will be caught short by human weariness (both his and ours!)
Luke 2:22-38 picks up the first Christmas story in the days after Christmas, and the mood is not one of great joy and happiness. It is more than a month after the exciting night of the nativity and it feels like hopes for fullness of joy have faded under the daily routine of the mundane and ordinary. Here the young family trudges off to Jerusalem fulfill some obscure requirement of the Law. Yet it will be in the ordinary and obscure, and through people others overlook, that God is working, both then and now.
Trigger Warning: I've Got Good News!
Have you heard about trigger warnings? It's a popular phrase in the world today, and it's a label that is used to warn you about possibly offensive content. So I need to be honest with you, the message we will share this Sunday is offensive, but it is also the greatest news you will ever hear, and maybe there is a connection. Good news isn't very popular today, and that's mainly because it doesn't sell very well. It's a good thing then that we aren't in the business of making money and selling ads, so we are free to share the good news. Join us as we celebrate the good news of a Savior being born, and although it may be offensive to some, it is good news of great joy for all people.
What Child is This?
What child is this? Several songs and hymns around Christmas have pondered this question that Mary may have asked as she looked at her newborn child for the first time. And it's still a relevant question for us today; who was this Jesus and why was his birth so important? This week we will travel back 700 years before He was born to look for an answer. Isaiah 7:14 is often given as a prophecy of Christ's birth, and yet the chapter as a whole doesn't seem to have much holiday cheer. Join us as we talk about the sign of Jesus' birth, and the hope that it brings us.