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WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Sunday School     9:00 AM
Social Time 10:00 AM
Traditional Worship 10:30
Contemporary Worship 4:30

WordFromPastor

If you went to some of the stores before Thanksgiving, you were probably tempted to start singing, "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas." The season of Advent is upon us and the festivities of Christmas are all around us. People are heading to stores or online looking for that perfect gift for their loved one. Neighbors are putting up lights and colorful decorations on their homes and lawns.

Christmas preparations fill our time with decorating, purchasing, wrapping, traveling, and celebrating. Christmas parties, special events, and gatherings help us experience the joy and good cheer of the season. In addition, our full schedules get even fuller. Sometimes it feels as if we won't be able to accomplish everything before December 25th. We may even start looking to the New Year for an opportunity to rest and relax.

Those of us who follow Jesus want to make sure that all the Christmas celebrations and preparations don't crowd out the true reason for the season; Jesus.

With all the hustle and bustle, we have to be intentional to keep Jesus at the center of our celebration. If we don't pay attention, Jesus can slip out of focus and we might not even notice.

There were many who looked past Jesus on the day of his birth. People were busy going about their day and living their lives. They weren't concerned about Christmas trees or making eggnog, but they had other tasks in their day to keep them busy.

Only a few noticed what God was doing in that feeding trough in Bethlehem. The shepherds heard the Good News of Jesus' birth from angels and went to see God's gift of love. Once they saw, they went back praising God and sharing the good news of great joy with others. The Magi were far away following the star when Jesus was born. They were seeking the true King and arrived two years after Jesus' birth.

Those who encountered Jesus would never be the same. The world would never be the same. God loved the world so much that he gave…he gave his only son. As we celebrate the miracle of Jesus' birth, may we never forget the reality of his life.

I invite you to join us in one of the celebrations (live nativity, Christmas Eve services), as we keep Jesus at the center of our celebrations. May he bring you hope, love, joy and peace.

Joy to the world,

Pastor Carolyn

Combined 2018 December/2019 January Messenger

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