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Sermons for this week:

          Luke 2:1-20    -    "What Was Seen At Bethlehem"
          Various Text    -   "Christmas Eve & Candle Lighting Resources"
                         
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Christmas Eve: I wonder what I would have heard had I been there that night. It is a question that annually haunts me. Would I have heard the choirs of angels singing or simply the sounds of barnyard animals shifting around? Would I have seen the star in the sky that night or simply two poor and very frightened kids? Would I have understood the hushed silence of the divine presence, or simply the chill of a cold east wind. Would I have understood the message of Emmanuel, God with us, or would the cosmic implications of that evening have passed me by?

 

I am convinced that had two people been there that night in Bethlehem it is quite possible that they could have heard and seen two entirely different scenes. I believe this because all of life is this way. God never presents himself in revelation in a manner in which we are forced to believe. We are always left with an option, for that is God's way. Thus, one person can say “Its a miracle, while another says “It’s coincidence."

 

Certainly very few people in Palestine saw and heard and understood what took place that night. The choirs of angels singing were drowned out by the haggling and trading going on in the Jerusalem bazaar. There was a bright star in the sky but the only ones apparently to pay any attention to it were pagan astrologers from the East. If anyone did see Mary and Joseph on that most fateful night, they were too preoccupied with their own problems to offer any assistance.

 

In one of the All in the Family episodes that aired some years ago Edith and Archie are attending Edith's high school class reunion. Edith encounters an old classmate by the name of Buck who, unlike his earlier days. had now become excessively obese. Edith and Buck have a delightful conversation about old times and the things that they did together, but remarkably Edith doesn't seem to notice how extremely heavy Buck has become. Later, when Edith and Archie and talking, she says in her whiny voices "Archie, ain't Buck a beautiful person." Archie looks at her with a disgusted expression and says: "Your a pip, Edith. You know that. You and I look at the same guy and you see a beautiful person and I see a blimp. Edith gets a puzzled expression on her face and says something unknowingly profound, "Yeah, ain't it too bad."

 

You see, what we see and what we hear in life depends not upon the events but rather....

 

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Six Advent Sermon Series & Christmas Resources all included in your membership:

Christmas:  Christmas Eve & Day Resources
                    by Brett Blair

1. Christmas Eve: What Was Seen At Bethlehem  -  Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20

2. Candle Lighting Sermon: A Great Light  -  Matthew 4:16

3. Christmas Day: No Room In The Inn   -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

4. Candlelight Service (Long Version)  -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

5. Candlelight Service (Short Version)  -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)

6. A Service Of Light  -  Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)  -   J. B. Quisenberry

 

Advent:  All I Want For Christmas Is....
                by James W. Moore

 

1. All I Want for Christmas is Hope  -  Isaiah 64:104

2. All I Want for Christmas is Peace  -  Luke 2:8-14

3. All I Want for Christmas is Joy  -  Matthew 1:18-25

4. All I Want for Christmas is a Savior  -  Luke 2:1-7

 

 

Advent:  Won't You Let Him In
                 by James W. Moore

 

1. Won’t You Let Him Into Your Heart?  -  Luke 2:1-7

2. Won't You Let Him Into Your Celebration?  -  Luke 3:1-6

3. Won't You Let Him Into Your Gift-Giving?  -  Luke 3:7-18

4. Won't You Let Him Into Your Christmas?  -  Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

 

 

Advent:  Let Us Go To Bethlehem

                  by James W. Moore

 

1. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Faith of Christmas - Lk 2:15-21

2. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Promise of Christmas - Mt 1:18-25

3. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Peace of Christmas - Lk 2:8-20

4. Let Us Go To Bethlehem And Find The Christ of Christmas - Lk 2:1-14

 

 

Advent:  Something's About To Happen

                  by Thomas Long

 

1. When Something Is About To Happen  -  Mark 13:32-37

2. What Do You Mean, 'Repent'?  -  Mark 1:1-8

3. There’s A Man Going Around Taking Names  -  John 1:6-8, 19-28

4. Where’s The Treasure?  -  Luke 1:26-38

5. Shepherds And Bathrobes  -  Luke 2:(1-7) 8-20

6. They Also Serve Who Wait  -  Luke 2:25-40

7. We Interrupt This Service  -  John 1:(1-9) 10-18

 

 

Advent:  How To Profit From The Prophets

                  by Maurice A. Fetty

 

1. How to Profit from Prophets  -  Luke 1:76

2. Why Prophets Get Under Our Skin  -  Luke 3:9

3. Someone Greater Than a Prophet  -  Luke 1:33

4. The Long Loneliness  -  Romans 13:11-12

5. A Voice To Be Heard  -  John 1:23

6. The Unexpected Universe  -  Matthew 11:4-6

7. The Star Thrower  -  Matthew 2:9-10

8. The Inner Galaxy  -  Luke 2:6-7

9. The Second Naiveté: Babies, Angels, Shepherds, And God  -  Phil. 2:8

 

 

Advent: The Perfect Gift

                  by Dr. Bill Bouknight

 

1. The Wolf and the Lamb Inside Us  -  Isaiah 11:6-9

2. Gods Best Gift in the Worst Times  -  Micah 5:2-5a

3. Mary’s Revolutionary Song  -  Luke 1:39-45 (46-55)

4. The Perfect Gift  -  Galatians 4:1-7

5. Naming the Divine Baby  -  Matthew 1:18-23

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What Is Unique About Christianity?

The story of Jesus sitting and debating the Law with rabbis reminds me of another debate that took place in a comparative religions conference, the wise and the scholarly were in a spirited debate about what is unique about Christianity. Someone suggested what set Christianity apart from other religions was the concept of incarnation, the idea that God became incarnate in human form. But someone quickly said, “Well, actually, other faiths believe that God appears in human form.” Another suggestion was offered: what about resurrection? The belief that death is not the final word. That the tomb was found empty. Someone slowly shook his head. Other religions have accounts of people returning from the dead.

Then, as the story is told, C.S. Lewis walked into the room, tweed jacket, pipe, armful of papers, a little early for his presentation. He sat down and took in the conversation, which had by now evolved into a fierce debate. Finally during a lull, he spoke saying, “what's all this rumpus about?” Everyone turned in his direction. Trying to explain themselves they said, “We're debating what's unique about Christianity.” “Oh, that's easy,” answered Lewis, “it's....

 

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