December 2, 2017 | by: 0 Comments|
"'And they shall call his name Immanuel' (which means, God with us)." - Matthew 1:23
The Christmas season is here!
We wanted to give you a quick preview of a few of the things coming up at Redeemer, along with a simple challenge for church members.
What's Coming Up on Sundays
- Throughout this month, our sermon series will be called "Immanuel: God With Us." The next four sermons will all be rooted in one passage of Scripture (Matthew 1:18-25), as we consider the identity of Immanuel, the mission of Immanuel, the call of Immanuel, and the hope of Immanuel. Then on New Year's Eve (Sunday, Dec. 31), Matt Vent is planning to preach on Sunday morning -- so get excited for that!
- On Sunday Dec. 17, we will have a Family Christmas Celebration, featuring a kids choir, and Christmas desserts to share after the service!
- On Sunday Dec. 24 - Christmas Eve Morning - we will have our annual Christmas Eve celebration at 10AM, including Christmas readings, traditional Christmas songs, and candles (yes, even in the morning!). No childcare will be provided, as we expect this to be a service for the whole family. (Also, FYI, we are not planning to have an evening service on Christmas Eve since it falls on a Sunday this year.)
A Simple Challenge for Church Members
We want to be an inviting, welcoming, hospitable church -- right? And, as you know, many people in our church family are already heroes of hospitality. Just a couple weeks ago, another guest told me with amazement about how welcomed he felt by people on Sunday morning (and we hear that all the time from our guests).
The Christmas season (in our culture) provides unique opportunities to be an inviting and welcoming church. Maybe we hesitate to invite our neighbors to join us at church because we think they just aren't interested. Thom Rainer of LifeWay research, however, has found that nearly 8 of 10 unchurched Americans say that they would come to church if someone invited them and accompanied them. And this time of year is the time people are most likely to want to come. Talk about an opportunity to be an inviting and welcoming church!
So, here's the question: how can you play a part in loving others through inviting, welcoming, and hospitality? This month, who could you invite over for a meal, with gospel intentionality? Who could you invite to join you for either the Family Christmas Celebration (Dec. 17) or on Christmas Eve Morning (Dec. 24)?
The Christmas season is full of wonder. "Mild he lays his glory by: born that man no more may die!" "God and sinners reconciled" -- this is true because He was "pleased, as man, with men to dwell. Jesus our Emmanuel." All of this is too wonderful not to share with others!
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