RECAP–IS PEACE POSSIBLE? from MICAH 4:1-5
We all long for peace. Christmas is a season that is supposed to be known for peace; many times, however, it is anything but peaceful! But how can we find peace in such a time as this? 2020 has truly been a difficult year! Everywhere we turn there is conflict: conflict within our nation, our denomination, the world, and even ourselves. Is peace even possible?
During the time of the prophet Micah Judah was in turmoil. They did not know peace, but they too had conflict everywhere. The nation was divided. Assyria was a significant threat to their livelihood. And in the area of spiritual peace, faithful dedication to God had virtually all been abandoned. Yet Micah did not give up hope. Through him God spoke a word of hope and pointed to a day when peace would reign on the earth. But how is that peace possible? To find peace today just as it was 2700 years ago, it must be done following the same four steps:
1) Return God to his rightful place. True peace starts when the God of peace is restored to his rightful place! God’s throne is established; it is enduring and permanent. The whole world can disappear, but God will never disappear. As we reorder our lives and recognize God as king, ordering our lives after him, then we begin to see peace work in us. Why? Because the right relationship is restored. When a relationship is broken, it is hard to be at peace, because there is always something amiss. But when relationships are right, life flows from them! The same is true with God! And if God is peace, and we are at peace with God, we will have the peace we need to endure all of life’s challenges!
2) Be an imitator of God. Jesus is the Prince of Peace. He brought peace to those who were far away and those who were near. Many that he encountered came to know peace. If we want peace in our lives, we need to follow the one who embodied peace! As we imitate, walking in the footsteps of peace, we will begin to see the peace of God in our lives!
3) Rely on the Word. Satan loves to confuse. Many of the problems we have today lie in the fact that we have competing messages claiming they are all from God. But God is not confused, nor does he send a double message. And confusion leads to unrest, which takes away peace! But when we are in that place, we need to turn to the Word and rely upon it. The Word is our compass, our guide. And as we follow the Word, the way of peace will be revealed.
4) Lay down your weapons of war. In order to have peace with humanity, we must lay down our weapons of war–especially the weapon of insistence on being right! That does not mean that we are not standing on what is right, for we should always stand! But what it does mean is that instead of going to war, we see each individual through the eyes of Jesus, seeing the brokenness and longing to bring restoration.
Will our world change overnight? Most likely not. But as we put these four areas into practice, we will have internal peace. And as we collectively have internal peace, the message of hope will spread. Who knows, maybe peace is possible after all…but may it start with us!
Questions for reflection
1) Are there any broken relationships in your life? How can they be restored?
2) What happens when God is not in his rightful place?
3) What is one way you can imitate Jesus over the next week?
4) What Scriptures serve as your anchor?
5) Why is it hard to not always insist on being right (even when you are)?
We will light the Advent candle of Love. Pastor Ryan will preach the sermon titled, “How Far Does Love Go?”, based on Isaiah 53:1-12. What are the limits of love? How did God show his love to us at Christmas? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for December 15 – 21
December 15: Psalm 36 How is God our peace?
December 16: Daniel 2:17-23 How can God bring us peace?
December 17: Romans 15:7-13 How can we live in God’s peace?
December 18: Luke 10:17-24 How can the revelation of God bring us peace?
December 19: Philippians 4:4-7 How do our actions tie in to God’s peace?
December 20: Luke 1:76-79 How does God’s love change our world?
December 21: 1 John 1:5-10 How did God demonstrate his love?
This Week’s Events:
Thursday, December 24–Christmas Eve service
Saturday, January 9–SNL Youth Ice Skating
We are still in need of a volunteer to serve for the Worship Team beginning in 2021. If you are willing to serve, please call the office and let us know!
Giving Tree Continues
We will still participate in the Giving Tree. Throughout the season of Advent, the Outreach Team sponsors a giving drive for the Stokesville Food Pantry. Each Sunday of Advent will highlight a needed item, although any item can be brought any Sunday (see below). For each Sunday in Advent, you can place them in plastic bags under the tree. The order for this year is as follows:
Love (December 20)–Paper Products
If you forgot to bring in canned goods (Nov 29), boxed cereals or peanut butter (Dec 6), or staple items (Dec 13) you can still bring them by whenever!
Although this holiday season may be very different than what we are used to, may this be a time that uplifts our spirits. God is our Immanuel. Let us make room for him in our hearts!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story).
We are still looking for a volunteer to serve on the Worship Team beginning in January. Please, if you feel a nudge, let Jeanette, Brad, or Phyllis know!
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
6) Restoration of the national church
Women’s Fellowship Fundraiser
Thank you to all who donated items or purchased items for the modified auction/fundraiser. It is not too late to donate for this worthy cause! A healthy amount has been received already.
This year, we will have two services for Christmas Eve due to COVID–a 7 pm service and the traditional 11 pm service. We are asking that you call the church office and declare which service you plan to attend in order to make sure we can accommodate everyone. We only have about 10 slots left for the 11 pm service.
There is a draft of the 2021 directory in the narthex of the church. Please check it and update any information that needs to be corrected.
There will be a box in the narthex for Heifer Project.
The office has not yet received the forms for Messenger subscription renewals. However, please notify Tess if you intend to renew. Once we have the renewals and the price, we will pass that along.
Misti Wheelbarger is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour for next year. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to her and let her know.
Four Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at the main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Those in our community being negatively impacted by COVID and economic impacts. Several have seen layoffs in recent weeks.
Andy Anderson (COVID)
Mary Batterman (health)
Glenn & Debbie Bollinger (COVID)
Sam Carr (health)
Patsy Dastoli (COVID)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Michelle Johnson (COVID)
Heath Kimmell (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Shirley Miller (health)
Alice Over (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (health)
Randall & Allison Sandin (COVID)
Tim Shiflet (COVID)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Chris Southerly (procedure)
Stanley Suter (health)
Cole Wheelbarger (procedure)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Gary Wise (COVID)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Charles Wright (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB