It’s that time of the year! We get ready to celebrate, and then we CELEBRATE, as Christmas is coming upon us again. We get ready to celebrate and then we celebrate God giving His Son to be one of us to save us from our sins and make us God’s children to life everlasting. 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. We will have a Midweek Advent Service Series on the first three Wednesdays of this month. Services are at 7:00pm. The theme is: “Unto Us a Child Is Born”.
Each Midweek Service will reflect upon a different aspect about what is prophesied about this Son, based on the Isaiah 9:6 passage above. The December 6th Service has the theme, “Great Light;” on December 13th it will be, “Wonderful Counselor;” and on December 20th, “Everlasting Father.” Each service will include 3 hymns. Several of these hymns will be Christmas Carols to help us anticipate the coming of our King, God’s Son, to save us.
The first four Sundays in December help us prepare to celebrate God’s sending His Son as well. On Sunday, December 3, the Gospel is Mark 11:1 -10, Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Son 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 be born for us.
On the Second Sunday of Advent, December 10th, the Gospel reading is Mark 1:1-8. 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 and proclaiming Who Jesus truly is.
On the Third Sunday of Advent, December 17th, we will have a real treat as our Sunday School kids will “preach” the sermon for us with their Christmas program entitled, “Once Upon a Sneeze.” Their message interwoven into the Christmas story, is that Jesus would come for all of us, regardless of any shortcomings we have, to be our Savior.
On the Fourth Sunday in Advent, December 24th, we will have our regular Sunday Service at the 10:00am with Communion. In the Gospel for the day, Luke 1:26-38, we get to witness the faith of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in her unexpected need to prepare for the birth of her Savior Who would also be her Son. We rejoice with Mary’s great statement of faith, “Let it be to me according to your Word.”
To help us prepare, I will also be doing a special adult Bible Class in the Fellowship Hall on the lessons of Advent. There is much rich material in those lessons!
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!