Sunday, December 6, 2009
This first Sunday in December felt like winter is arriving! And I think the colder temps kept people sleeping in, because the 9AM gathering wasn't nearly as well-attended at the 11 o'clock. It's tough getting out of bed on these chilly mornings!
This morning kicked off a new series "Christmas in Our Hearts". We all have Christmas traditions. Our take in this series is how our traditions can and, I believe, should pass on the celebration of Christ's birth to future generations, and point those who don't yet know Him to Him.
The Worship Choir joined the MP13 Band to start off the morning with a couple of great contemporary Christmas songs, including "Gloria" (I can't escape the line in that song that asks 'How could heaven's heart not break on the day that you came?') and a new song from Chris Tomlin, "My Soul Magnifies the Lord", taking lyrics from Mary's prayer in Luke 1 and Isaiah's prophecies that His name would be called "Wonderful, Counselor.." It may be one of the greatest Christmas songs this generation has produced.
At the end of my talk I asked the congregation to respond by bringing the names of friends and family who need to know Christ up to an "altar" of Christmas gift-wrapped boxes. This is the season for us to give ourselves to others. Everyone who participated wrote the name of someone they care for on a Christmas gift tag and affixed it to the boxes while the band played "You Gave Your Life Away". This is the most wonderful time of the year to share Christ with others.
Via video we were challenged to join in with The Advent Conspiracy and make our Christmas count. Did you know that Americans spend $450 BILLION on Christmas gifts? Check out their site.
Each Sunday I am amazed that God can use me, especially when I know my own failures and imperfections. Today was one of those days. His grace is amazing and His faithfulness uncompromised.
Have a Merry Christmas! Let it joy begin. In excelsis Deo!