RECAP: CHRIST IS BORN AND CHRIST IS LORD based on Luke 2:1-7 and Romans 10:5-15
Why does Christmas exist? Why do we long for hope, joy, peace, and love each Advent? Christmas exists because God loved humanity and cared so much that he intervened in human history to restore hope, bring joy, pave the way for peace, and show the depth of his love. God cared so much that he would not let humanity continue to suffer the effects of sin without providing a way of redemption.
How do we know this? Jesus came at just the right time in history. The Roman Empire’s existence allowed for the spread of the good news to as many people as possible, for one could travel without fear of being attacked or harmed! That together with the Greek language serving as a universal language of trade and commerce, allowed anyone to hear the good news.
How do we know this? Jesus came from a lowly estate to show that no one was beyond God’s reach and love. He was born to peasant Jews; he was revealed to shepherds, the outcasts of society; he was received and worshipped by Magi, foreigners who were wealthy and full of knowledge; he was recognized by elderly faithful and women; and he was received by fishermen, tax collectors, sinners, prostitutes, centurions, Gentiles, Samaritans, and even a demon-possessed man from the tombs. When Jesus said “God so loved the world,” he meant it!
But unfortunately, not everyone has received him. Herod missed him, viewing him as a rival that needed to be executed. The Pharisees and other religious leaders missed him, for Jesus did not fit their paradigm of the Messiah, the image of God they had crafted! And the town of Bethlehem slept, not recognizing the moment in the stable, for no one offered them a bed. And today, many more miss him for there is no room for Jesus in their heart, or they dismiss him as fiction or myth.
Do we make room for Jesus in our hearts? Is Jesus our LORD?
Have we confessed with our mouths that he is LORD? Have we declared with our living that Jesus is the most important thing in the world to us? Do we strive to live in repentance?
Do we believe that God raised him from the dead? Do we believe in our minds the Word of God? Do we believe in our hearts because we have a relationship with Jesus? Do we believe in our lived experience, seeing God work in our daily lives because we placed our trust in him?
Do we regularly call on the Name of the LORD? Those who trust in him will never be put to shame, and everyone who calls on his name will be saved. Are we seeking God’s opinion? Do we strive to spend time with him?
Do we share the good news? Do we give others the opportunity to hear?
Or does Jesus stay in the manger, a pageant scene that only comes once a year? Do we value the greatest gift that God has given us–or do we throw it away, say no thank you, or leave God on the shelf collecting dust?
Jesus came for all. That is good news! He came to bring us hope, joy, peace, and love. That is good news! Do we embrace God’s great gift and make room for Jesus in our hearts? Or is there no room in our own inn?
Questions for Reflection
1) Does our living show our confession? Can people tell we believe in Jesus?
2) Of what might you need to repent this holiday season?
3) How can you grow in your relationship with Christ this year?
4) Who needs to hear the good news of hope that is Christmas?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the spirit of Advent and begin the new series on the Spiritual Disciplines with the sermon titled, “Christ the Answer,” based on Romans 8:1-11. How is Jesus our answer? And how do we live in worship? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for December 27 – January 2
December 27: Luke 2:41-52 How did the educated, Mary, and Joseph respond to Christ’s arrival?
December 28: Luke 4:14-21 How did Jesus announce his arrival?
December 29: Luke 5:1-11 How should we respond to Jesus’ call?
December 30: John 1:43-51 How did Philip and Nathaniel respond to Jesus’ call?
December 31: John 1:1-18 How will we respond to Christ’s arrival in our midst?
January 1: Luke 5:17-26 How did Jesus show he was the answer to a paralytic?
January 2: Luke 7:1-10 How did Jesus demonstrate he was the answer to a centurion?
This Week’s Events:
Monday, December 26 – Friday, December 30–Church office closed for holidays
Sunday, January 1–New Year’s Day Service @ 11 am (no Sunday School)
Sunday, January 8–First Sunday Offering, Breakfast, and communion
Sunday, January 8–Worship Team Meeting @ 12 nn
Sunday, January 8–Church undecorating
Monday, January 9–Timothy Bible Study resumes, 7 pm
New Year Long Series
We believe in following Jesus. How do we grow in our faith? All year long, we will explore the twelve Spiritual Disciplines. These are spiritual practices with the intention on helping us grow deeper in our faith and relationship with God. Each month, we will focus on a different discipline. For January, we will explore the discipline of worship. More will come next week!
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading).
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
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour. If you are willing to help, even if it is just for a Sunday, please reach out to the Christian Education Team and let them know.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller, Stanley Suter & Carolyn Wine
Sandy Bennington (peace)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Alda Miller (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Evy Kaye Sandin (recovery)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Tess Southerly (recovery)
Whitmore family (house)
Grayson Whitmore (recovery)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Owen Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church