December 13, 2012 Weekender

Weekender 12/13/12

What is so significant about God sending His own Son into the world on that first Christmas morning?  In a word, when the Father sent His Son, He sent His greatest delight into our world.  He sent that which was most valuable to Himself.

Consider how one man described the delight and the value the Father has for His Son (if you get a bit lost, stick with me to the end, I hope it will become clear by the end):

“First, as he is … the Son of God, the engraven image of his Father, so he is the first lovely thing that ever was.  When the Father loves him, he loves himself in him, so he loves him as God, as the second person, as his own image and character.” (Richard Sibbes, A Description of Christ)

This is a profound statement.  Sibbes explains the significance of the Son of God being the very image of God (Colossians 2:15).  He is an exact image of His Father.  To understand the Sibbes quote above, we need to remember one thing – that there is nothing greater to love that God himself.  So when the Father looks at His Son, He sees His own image and, because He sees His own image, He loves the perfect image of himself that He sees in the Son.  There has never been anything more precious to God than this image.

The pastor and great American theologian Jonathan Edwards says a similar thing as Sibbes, but in different words,

“That image of God which God infinitely loves and has His chief delight in, is the perfect idea of God.  It has always been said that God’s infinite delight consists in reflecting on himself and viewing his own perfections or, which is the same thing, in His own perfect idea of himself, so that ’tis acknowledged that God’s infinite love is to and his infinite delight [is] in the perfect image of Himself.  But the Scriptures tell us that the Son of God is that image.” (Jonathan Edwards, Miscellanies 94)

What is most valuable to you?  Are you planning to wrap it up and give it to someone else this year?  I doubt it.  We give out of our wealth and only a portion of it.  We don’t give our entire wealth.  But when God sent His Son into the world, He sent His entire wealth into the world.  All that He had, all that He enjoyed was sent into the world.  Is there any wonder that He would send angels to announce the birth of Jesus to shepherds in the fields?  Is there any wonder that He would use a star to direct the wise men to the manger of Jesus?  Not at all.

What is a surprise is that He made such a little deal of it at all.  In a world full of millions of people, only a handful of people went to see this precious baby.  He was born in a stable and laid in an animal’s feeding trough.  What should surprise us is that God would send something so valuable so precious into such a common and dirty location and that the world would be unaware of this coming.

What do we see when we look at the baby Jesus?  The glory of God wrapped in a human body.  Begin to pull aside that skin, to see what this baby is like, and you will be overcome with his glory.  The disciples saw it when Jesus’ “skin wrapping paper” was pulled away (Matthew 17:1-8).  The Christmas holiday is no touchy-feely, consumer-driven, family affair.  No, it is the celebration of the invasion of the glory of God into history, and when people see God’s glory they fall down and worship (Ezekiel 1:28; Matthew 17:6; Revelation 1:17).

Let us not allow the humble beginnings of Jesus deceive us.  Let us not allow the urgency of our Christmas schedule blind us from the glory that was revealed.  Without time to meditate on the Christmas Story, I’m afraid we will miss this.  We must worship.  We need to sing the Christmas songs.  We need to contemplate the greatness of God sending all of his glory into the world.  Without this, we will be lost in the secularization of the holiday and we will miss out of the glory.  How central is this to you?  How can you use the remaining 12 days until Christmas to better live in the wonder of Christmas glory?

We live in a world of glitz.  The malls and city blocks are made as beautiful as they can be to attract shoppers to purchase items that will bring only a fleeting sense of happiness.  There is no lasting glory in these things.  The true glory of Christmas is in a baby born in a manger because that baby was the Son of God, the glorious image of God, Emmanuel, God with us.

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

Friday

Youth Christmas Party (Junior High and Senior High) (meet at the church at 6 PM) – The youth group will be singing at a few homes through the congregation and ending with a White Elephant gift exchange.  The Senior High will end at the Allisons house.  The Junior High will end at the Capitanos house.

 Creation Club (7:30 PM) – Creation Explored…“SIX DAYS….REALY?” – The literal six day view of creation has been around for a long time ….since creation. This view is expressed in Genesis Chapter One and is supported in the giving of the law (Exodus 20). The literal view of creation is also supported in numerous other places in both the Old Testament and New Testament. So when did other views originate? What was the agenda of those who formulated these other views? Dr. Jonathan Sarfati, of Creation Ministries International, will address scriptural basis for a six day creation as we view the DVD titled “Six Days…..Really?”

Saturday

Women’s Breakfast at 8:30 AM – On the third Saturday of each month, the women of New Life in Christ Church, gather for breakfast at 8:30 AM.  It’s great food, it’s great fellowship, and it’s always have a good time in God’s Word.  Invite a friend.

  • 9 AM Christmas Cantata Dress Rehearsal

Young Adult Christmas Party (meet at the church at 6 PM) – We will be meeting at 6 PM in the Fireside Room for a dress-up dinner followed by a murder-mystery party with a Christmas theme. We’ll also have some Christmas carol singing and a short Christmas message. It’s a great night to invite non-Christian friends.  $10 a person (pay at the door)

Sunday

  • Sunday School – 9 AM (click here to see our web page for a list of classes)
  • Worship Service – 10 AM – Second Sunday in Advent – Pastor Doug Preaching
  • Evening Service – 6 PM – Christmas Cantata.  One of the highlights of the Christmas Season at New Life in Christ Church is our Christmas Cantata. Come and hear some great music of the season as our choir leads us through “A Manger Suite: Michael W. Smith’s It’s a Wonderful Life”.  This is a really good event to invite your friends and family to attend.
  • No Junior and Senior High Youth Group and No Prayer Time this Sunday

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