We have just spent four weeks observing the season of Advent collectively as a Church. In Advent, we took the posture of waiting as we considered and anticipated the coming of Jesus the Savior into the world. This is something that Christians have done for generations.
Now, we step into another season in the Church calendar called “Christmastime”. This season is historically marked by the 12 days of Christmas starting on Christmas day. If Advent is a season marked by waiting and longing, then Christmastime is one marked by overflowing joy and celebration (*Partayyy).
Hopefully you have already begun celebrating with family or friends. Today, through our online service, we will continue the celebration together as a Church. Thanks for joining us from wherever you may be today!
As you settle in with your Home Church, family or friends…
Let’s begin our time together this morning by slowing down, taking a deep breath and centering our hearts and minds on God’s love and presence with us.
Pause in silence for one or two minutes
Read this passage and spend a moment in prayer
Jesus, thank you that absolutely nothing can separate me from your love. My wayward heart is often led astray, but Your words remain true. Nothing, absolutely nothing will separate us. I ask that you continue to prune and heal my heart so that I may live in the joy of Your presence. Help me now, to walk in step with Your Spirit and to hear from you in a way that moves me to action.
There is live worship music in the video for this week to follow along with. Or, if someone in your home is able to lead a few and you would rather do that as a group, go for it!
Take a moment to practice generosity together.
THERE IS NOTHING WE HAVE THAT WE HAVE NOT RECEIVED
TO SPEND EVERYTHING ON OURSELVES AND TO GIVE WITHOUT SACRIFICE IS TO WALK THE WAY OF DEATH
BUT GENEROSITY IS THE WAY OF THOSE WHO CALL JESUS THEIR LORD
WHO LOVE WITH FREE HEARTS AND SERVE WITH RENEWED MINDS
WHO WITHSTAND THE DELUSION OF RICHES
WE ARE DETERMINED TO INCREASE IN GENEROSITY UNTIL IT CAN BE SAID THAT THERE IS NO NEEDY PERSON AMONG US
WE ARE DETERMINED TO BE FAITHFUL STEWARDS OF SUCH A LITTLE THING AS MONEY THAT WE MAY JOIN GOD IN THE WORK OF RENEWAL
ABOVE ALL THINGS WE ARE DETERMINED TO BE GENEROUS BECAUSE OUR FATHER IS GENEROUS
IT IS THE DELIGHT OF HIS DAUGHTERS AND SONS TO SHARE THEIR FATHER’S TRAITS AND TO SHOW WHAT HE IS LIKE TO ALL THE WORLD.
Spend a few moments discussing these questions together based on the message.
- What are the promises of God that you find most difficult to believe? And Why?
(ie. His goodness; His steadfast love toward you; His future coming etc)
- As we consider Mary’s trust and humble submission to God’s good purpose for her – even though it required suffering. What are the areas in your own life that you need to renew your trust in God’s good promises to you and take the humble posture of a servant like Mary?
Lord God, Heavenly King, we give you thanks and praise, in your goodness, you showed your supreme love for us by sending forth your only begotten Son, to be born of a pure virgin, to save us all from sin.
Before you formed the heavens and the earth, he was your Word. In him you made all things. In him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell.
Yet he did not count equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself to take the form of a servant, being born in our own likeness, even as a baby.
For all these things, we give you thanks and sing of His coming with the song of the angels:
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace and goodwill to all people.
Eternal God, your Son, Jesus Christ, came to us in your name and showed us your steadfast love for us. All that he did was by your will. All that he did was in your name. When we saw him, we saw the Father, for he was the image of the invisible God.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
For love of you, O Lord, and for love of us, he offered himself up to death on a cross, that we might be saved from sin and death. Yet you did not let the powers of darkness prevail over him, but raised him from the dead to sit at your right hand in glory. And now you have given to us who believe in him the promise of resurrection and eternal life.
Glory to God in the highest.
On the night before he died, our Lord Jesus took bread and gave thanks; broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying: Take and eat; this is my body, given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Let us eat…
After supper, he took the cup, gave thanks, and gave it for all to drink, saying: This is the new covenant in my blood, shed for you and for all people for the forgiveness of sin. Do this for the remembrance of me.
Let us drink…
We remember his humble birth in a manger. We proclaim his death and resurrection. We await his coming in glory.
As our Savior has taught us, we pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one”
Grace and peace be with you.