NLIC Weekender (12/5/2013)

New Life in Christ Weekender
A short reminder of events happening this weekend 

[Scroll down for weekend events]

Dear New Life in Christ Family,

Would you like to see God face to face?  Author and theologian John Frame writes,

“One sometimes hears Christians express the wish that they could speak with God personally, as he appeared to people during the biblical period.  But meetings with God in the Bible are awesome and terrible.  Job also requested an interview with God (see Job 23:1-7; 31:35-37).  But the interview God granted him was terrifying and humiliating (see chaps. 38-42).  Perhaps we should be satisfied, even thankful, that our meetings with God today are less direct (though just as real . . .).  Surely we can be thankful that we stand before God in Christ, who has borne the fearsome wrath of God in our place.”  (Frame, John M. Worship in Spirit and Truth. Phillipsburg, N.J: P&R Pub, 1996, page 16.)

John Frame shows other examples of these “awesome and terrible” encounters in Exodus 3:5-6, Exodus 19-20:21, and Isaiah 6:1-13.  To many of us, it may be a surprise to think that an actual encounter of God would be this traumatic, but that is exactly how the Bible portrays it time and again.  Our finitude and sin comes face to face with his infinite holiness.  It is a daunting picture.

As we walk through Advent* this year we are reminded that this “awesome and terrifying” God appeared in a way not-so-terrifying to those who saw him.  No one thought much of this baby in the manger.  No one thought much of him as he walked down the street.  Most of the time he wasn’t terrifying.  Sure, there were times when people saw his holiness shine through and they were afraid (see Matthew 17:6 and Mark 4:41 for example), but most of the time when Jesus was around no one even realized the greatness of the person in front of them. 

In becoming a man, Jesus Christ the Son of God, veiled his glory so that his greatness was largely invisible to everyone around him (see Philippians 2:5-11).  While “no one has ever seen God” (John 1:18), people did see Jesus, they lived with him, spoke with him, ate with him, ministered with him as they would any other person.  Jesus, as the incarnate** Son of God, was approachable and relatable.  In a very real way he was vulnerable.  In coming to earth he came to help us relate with God in a way no one else ever could.

Indeed Jesus is Emmanuel, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).  Not God in a fearful sense (though his perfect holiness was never diminished), but God in his loving presence.  That is what we celebrate this advent season … that God, too holy for us to be in his presence without fear of judgment, became a man so we could fellowship with him and enjoy him.

How does this affect you?  Has the thought of coming face to face with God ever given you fear?  What is it about the coming of Jesus that gives you the most encouragement?  Do you look forward to seeing him face to face now?  I would love to hear from you. 

Faithfully Yours,
Pastor Sean

Some definitions:
* Advent means “coming” and during Advent we celebrate how God came to the earth when Jesus Christ was born
** Incarnation means “to become flesh”.  By incarnation we mean that the Son of God, who was a Spirit and had no body, “put skin on” and lived in a human body just like ours.

[Event List]

Thursday

NLIC Jazz Orchestra Concert: This year, Jonathan Allison has organized a Big Band/Jazz Orchestra to play for our Christmas Banquet and some other events.  On Thursday they are performing a special show in the Spotsylvania Towne Center Food Court, from 7-8:30.  Come and enjoy good music and while you are there, look how you can reach out to those who may be enjoying the music.

Friday

Session Meeting and Deacon Meeting (7:00 PM) – Please pray for the leadership of your church as we work though the mission of the church.  Let your elder know if there is something you would like prayer for.

Creation Club (7:30 PM) – How Darwin Got it Wrong – This meeting will feature the Creation Ministries International DVD titled “How Darwin Got it Wrong”. The presentation will explain how Darwin got it wrong on seven major points. Learn why Darwinism is wrong and how Darwinism impacts our society and the church.

Saturday

  • 9:00 am – Christmas Cantata Choir and Orchestra Rehearsal (sanctuary)
  • 2:00 pm – 7th – 9th  Grade Drama at Chancellor’s Village

Sunday

  • Sunday School – 9 AM (click here to see an online description of the classes)
  • Worship Service – 10 AM – Second Sunday in Advent – Pastor Doug Preaching
  • Young Adult Potluck – 1 PM – At the home of Aaron Wallo (35 Heritage Road)
  • Women’s Ministry Committee meeting  – 4:30 pm (room 217)
  • Stewardship meeting – 4:30 pm (room 219)
  • Evening Service – 6 PM – Family Christmas.  We have many gifted people in the congregation and, in celebration of Christmas, many of them would like to share their musical gifts with the Lord and the congregation.  Come and enjoy a great evening of special music and creativity.  Speak with Jonathan Allison if you have something to share (jvlallison@msn.com).
  • Junior and Senior High Youth Groups – Sunday at 7 PM
  • Come to Pray – Corporate Prayer at 7 PM.

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