It’s that time of the year! We get ready to celebrate, and then we CELEBRATE, that our King has come to be with us! He would come to be born one of us to save us from our sins AND He comes to us now to be with us through this life on the way to the eternal life He has won for us in the glories of heaven. Now THAT’S something to celebrate!
We will have many opportunities at Living Word to both prepare and to celebrate during this Advent and Christmas season. Our Midweek Advent Series continues through the first three Wednesdays in December. The theme is: “God with Us”.
Each Midweek Service will give different descriptions of how God is with us. On November 28th it was “As Our Potter.” On December 5th it will be “As Our Shepherd.” On December 12th, “As Our Living Branch.” On December 19th, “As Our Guide.” The assurance that God is with us is something we need every day. It is a major emphasis of our celebration of Christmas. These Wednesday Services begin in 7:00 pm and are from 40-45 minutes long.
The first four Sundays in December help us prepare to celebrate God’s sending His Son to be with us. On Sunday, December 2nd, the Gospel is Luke 19:28-40, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The King born to save us comes into the city to accomplish that salvation by His death and resurrection that would take place on the following Friday and Sunday. We start Advent by looking at why the Son would come to be born for us. Our theme will be, “Our King Comes to Bring Us Hope.”
On the Second Sunday of Advent, December 9th, the Gospel reading is Luke 3:1-14. The one sent to prepare the way for Jesus was John the Baptist. We get ready as John prepares the way for Jesus to come to us, preaching repentance. Repentance leads to the receiving of forgiveness which is the greatest peace. Our theme will be, “Our King Comes to Bring Us Peace.” On this Sunday we will receive 17 new members into our congregation!
On the Third Sunday of Advent, December 16th, we will have a real treat as our Sunday School will present the sermon for us with their Christmas program entitled, “The Story Retold,” an original production written and directed by our own, Kristl Franklin. Our theme will be, “Our King Comes to Bring Us Joy.”
On the Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 23rd, in the Gospel for the day, Luke 1:39 -45, we get to witness the love of Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she goes to help take care of her relative, Elizabeth who is six months pregnant with John the Baptist. The presence of Jesus, even while still in His mother’s womb, causes an amazing reaction in John the Baptist while still in the womb, and the Holy Spirit showers His love on them all. Our theme will be, “Our King Comes to Bring Us Love.”
To help us prepare, I will also be doing a special adult Bible Class in the Fellowship Hall on the Old Testament readings of the day. There is much rich material in these prophesies!
Then comes the BIG CELEBRATION with our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service at 5:30pm. Each aspect of the Christmas story will be explored in between the singing and hearing of favorite Christmas Carols. The evening will conclude with the singing of Silent Night to candlelight from all of the individually held candles by each person in the service.
The celebration continues the next Sunday, December 31st. The Gospel reading is Luke 2:22-40, where baby Jesus is brought to the temple and is met by Simeon who can now die in peace since he has seen his Savior. Jesus would live up to His name which means Savior. He was born to save His people from their sins.
I look forward to seeing you this month as we prepare to celebrate and then CELEBRATE God giving us His Son to be our Savior. It is truly a wonderful time of the year. Let’s enjoy it together!