Dear New Life in Christ Church,
One of my favorite Christmas verses is Galatians 4:4-5 - “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4–5, ESV)
"When the fullness of time had come …" God waited for the right time to send His Son, sending Jesus at the right time. God’s timing was right, but what was it right for? The passage says that he sent Jesus “to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons”. Read that again, God’s gift at Christmas was to send His Son to give us the rights of a "son" ("son", meaning an heir). He did it to bring us into His family, to make us into His children, to make us one family of brothers and sisters, not of blood, but of faith.
The clear implication of this is that we are not naturally His children. We’ve lost that natural relationship to God through our sin - our anger, our lust, and our lying keeps us from Him. We've done things, said things and thought things that we wish we could have removed from our record. Those things are sin.
And they keep us away from God.
We are not satisfied in this. God has put a “father hunger” in the human heart, stirring us up that we would desire to know and be close to God. People may not acknowledge it, they may not even be aware of it, but it is there. We need that family relationship with God, and we are aware it has been broken. We see it in the broken ways that people act. We see it in our own broken hearts.
God sent Jesus to make us His children again. The Bible teaches us that God sent His Son to make us his children.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” (John 1:12, ESV)
Remember who this little baby was. He was none other than the Son of God who had become a man. God was rescuing us from our own problems by sending His own Son into the world. God came down at Christmas to solve our problem.
And that gift is as relevant to us today as it was the time that He came.
Do you feel far from God? He can bring you near.
Do you feel like you are not good enough, that something is wrong with you? Jesus came to make you right.
Do you feel like God is angry with you? Jesus came to bring you into His family.
Do you need something to live for? Jesus restores us to God and sets us on our purpose for living.
It’s all about Jesus.
Once we trust Christ, we have reasons for assurance. When you watch a movie or reading a story, there is a point toward the end of the story's climax that we know things really will work out for the hero. It's the turning point where the solution becomes clear.
At that first Christmas, Jesus showed us how God would work out His solution to our problem. And we live in that time, knowing that it will work out. It’s like a secret revealed at just the right time … its revealed in Jesus.
When it comes to God, there is no supply chain problem. His Christmas promises will not be delayed because He can't get to them. Do you remember the famous Grinch story? How the Grinch stole every Christmas gift in Who-ville and the Whos still got up on Christmas, rejoice and sang?
It is a great picture of the most genuine response to Christmas - praise, joy, love, giving, thanksgiving and worship. It is worshipping God for that one gift that supply chain issues can never stop, that the devil cannot stop, and that even our own sin cannot limit. The gift of Jesus Christ to the world is the gift of salvation to everyone who believes.
There is no limit to God showing His love, acceptance and grace. In fact, grace flows from God to His people, He POURS it out. We only need to open our hearts to it by faith. And once we know it, we have access to a never ending supply chain of grace.
December is a big month …
It’s the month of "Advent" - where we remember the first coming of God the Son into our world, and long for the second coming of Jesus Christ when He returns for His church.
Youth Christmas Party on December 3, meeting at the church at 6 PM. Our youth will go caroling and end with a White Elephant Gift Exchange.
Family Christmas Service on December 4 at 6 PM evening service. Share your musical gift with the church at our evening service as we each offer what we have to Christ and to the church. Speak to Jonathan Allison if you have a song to play or sing for the day.
Church Christmas Banquet on December 10 at 5 PM. Dinner will start at 5:30 with entertainment shortly after. It's our "Christmas Dinner" as a church. I look forward to having some fun together as we enjoy time together and the work of our drama team.
Children's Christmas Program on December 11 at 6 PM. Our youth are working hard on a music program with drama. Come and enjoy the program as our evening service.
Christmas Cantata on December 18 at 6 PM. Join us for this musical offering. This is one of our biggest events of the year as we get to enjoy a wonderful concert with some of the holiday's best music.
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service on December 24 at 6 PM. Join us as we celebrate the birth of Christ with lessons and carols reminding us of the incarnation of the Son of God.
Lord's Day Worship on Christmas morning (December 25) at 10:30 AM. Christmas is on the Lord's Day and the Lord has set aside the first day of the week as a Sabbath to Himself. Sunday is the real holiday of the church as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christmas Eve is a great evangelistic and fun service, but the Lord's Day is a command of the Lord, so we will worship that day, in one service at 10:30 AM.
Lord's Day Worship on New Years Day (January 1) at 10:30 AM. Start off the new year with a single worship service on Sunday morning at 10:30 AM. It’s our way to start off the year with the things that matter most - worship of our God and listening to His Word.
That's it for now. Of course, there is more going on, but you'll hear about that through the month. Think about who you can invite to some of these events and help them find connection and encouragement.