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HERE IT IS
Archive for December, 2011
Its that time again! 2011 is almost over and the time to pick a new Bible reading plan is now. Justin Taylor has all the plans you need over at his blog.
Check them out HERE.
I am seriously considering this ONE! Call me crazy.
*If you attend Metro East this post is for YOU!!*
I want to strongly urge all members and regular attendees of Metro East to be present this Sunday. I had originally planned on preaching my 2012 Vision Sermon on January 1, but given the unique holiday schedule this year, I thought it best to preach it this Sunday. This will be an important Sunday for us as a church. I will be reflecting on some of the things that have happened this year, but more importantly, I will be sharing some of the big picture announcements and plans for 2012. So I ask you to make a point to attend this weekend and if you happen to be out of town or unable to make it, the podcast will be up on Monday. I hope to see you there!
Christmas Eve/Child Care
As you know we are holding two Christmas Eve Services this year and one shortened Christmas Day Service. We want to be able to offer childcare in both services on Christmas Eve. These services will be the same length as a normal Sunday morning service, not shortened as they’ve been in the past. As of now, we have the 5PM service staffed with childcare, which we think is when most young families will attend. We do however want to still be able to offer childcare at the 7PM service. If you are able volunteer for 7PM childcare, please contact Jayme Davis immediately.
End of Year Giving
Giving this year at Metro East has been very consistent for the most part. We still are somewhat behind our 2011 budget goals. We know December can be an expensive time with travel, gifts, parties, etc. We do however want to have a strong start to 2012 and while money isn’t everything, it will help us to continue with our vision and ministries as we launch into a new year. I want to challenge all of us, starting with myself, to contribute generously to our operating budget and our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering as we close out this year.
I am eager to be with you this Sunday and celebrate what God has done among us in 2011, as well as look forward to what we hope He will do in 2012!
PS: If you’re reading this via YEARN, I have no idea why NEWS is rotating!
Make no mistake about it, Christmas is for sinners! Surrounding the Christmas story is the constant reminder that this Child’s Birth was good news for sinful people like you and me. Here are a few examples:
The Genealogy of Jesus
Matthew begins his Gospel with a long genealogy of the line of David (Matthew 1:1-17). The reasons for this are many, but one thing you cannot overlook is how scandalous are the stories that surround some of the names. He mentions Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and the wife or Uriah (Bathsheba), not to mention the kings who did “evil in sight of the Lord” in their lifetime. These are the kinds of people the Messiah includes in His family; the same kind of people He came to save! Then we see the first people to visit the newborn King are none other than wise men from the east. These men are pagan Gentiles, and yet even they feel compelled to worship this Jewish Baby.
The Mission Statements of Jesus
“For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:13)
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
The Actions of Jesus
Aside from teaching, praying, and healing the thing Jesus did more than anything was eat with sinners.
A few examples:
The reason Jesus came was to welcome sinners to His table. Christmas is about sinful people receiving the good news that God has called them to feast with Him.
So my challenge this Christmas season is for you to find a way to be with sinners. Many Christians rarely make plans to be around non-believers. But if there is anytime to do that, its during the Holidays. So here are a few ideas:
I am sure there are other ideas you have, feel free to put them in the comments below.
What hath the North Pole to do with Bethlehem? How do you make much of Jesus during the Christmas season while Santa seems to be everywhere? This is always a fun discussion, but I’d encourage all you parents to figure out how you are going to deal with this issue with your children. Here are some links that might be helpful.
Mark Driscoll: What we tell our kids about Santa
Noel Piper: Thinking About Santa
A Post I Did: Jesus and Santa
Michael Patton: Should Christians Play Santa?
Okay, I don’t mean that you should not think about 2012 and all the things you’d like to do next year. What I mean is that too often we let our life slip into auto-pilot during the month of December, while constantly making New Year’s resolutions in our head. We plan to pray more, give more, exercise more, share the Gospel with our neighbors more, read the Bible more, eat better, etc. We think January will be a magical new start to our lives but often, it prevents us from living now. I don’t want to sound morbid (it is Christmas after all!), but you might not be here in January. Why waste December planning for January?
Why not live now? Why not give now? Why not take some risks to share the Gospel with your neighbors now? Why not start eating better now (while enjoying the extra sugar and fat that comes with Christmas no doubt)? See, there is living, and there is waiting to live. Too often, we are just waiting to live, we are waiting for the right timing, the right situation, the right circumstances. But Christmas is about life now. Our Savior King came to give us life. The Gospel is about the present, not just the future. So live now!
To continue this series on some ways to not waste your Christmas, I’d like to lighten the mood a little bit and strongly encourage you to have some fun this season. This video is at least one example. While I cannot in good conscience suggest that you do this, please let me know if you do!
HT: The Blazing Center
Follower of Jesus. Husband to Heather. Father to Cross and Rhyse. Owner of Baggins. Pastor of Metro East Baptist Church