Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow
It seems that winter has come a bit early this year, and yet I am enjoying it. My favorite scene for a run is during a snowfall which I have already had the privilege of enjoying. Thanksgiving and Black Friday have come and gone. Christmas trees and lights are up in my home. You will even notice Christmas decorations in our church building this Sunday.
While I truly do enjoy all things Christmas, I find it takes a concerted effort every year to stay focused on what matters most – the incarnation of Jesus Christ. While that effort is indeed an individual pursuit, it cannot be maintained alone. That is one reason (among several) why I appreciate my church family so much. You help me stay focused on what matters the most.
One way that you help me stay centered is in our corporate gathering around God’s Word each Sunday. Hearing and responding to the Word together is a key element in godly living. That is why I am anticipating our path forward in the Scripture as a church family during this season of Advent.
Many of you have already received the resource A Jesus Christmas. It is a family Bible reading guide focused on Advent. Each daily reading utilizes a simple grid of 4 E’s - Explore, Explain, Engage, and Enter in - to guide our interaction with God’s Word in an effective way. While A Jesus Christmas is designed for family worship in the home, we are also incorporating some of those readings into our Advent sermon series, adult Connection Hour, and Family Gathering interactions.
This Sunday, we will preach Genesis 21 and celebrate how the miraculous birth of Isaac serves as a pointer to the miraculous birth of the Son of God. On December 9, we will preach Isaiah 9:1-7 and celebrate the prophecy that this child to be born will be a great light in a dark place. On December 16, we will preach Luke 1:67-79 and celebrate the birth of Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan. On December 23 we will preach Matthew 2:1-12 and celebrate the explicit presence of “God with us” in Jesus Christ. And finally, in our Christmas Eve gathering on December 24, we will celebrate the deity and glory of Christ as revealed in John 1. These passages will focus our hearts on God’s redemptive plan and refresh our spirits with the reminders of his grace toward us in Jesus.
December can be a very busy time filled with many important things. But in the midst of the busyness, be sure to make space to help one another stay anchored in Christ. Both in our corporate gatherings and in our homes, let’s ask God to help us truly make this a Jesus Christmas.