Friday, December 16, 2011

The Light

I love this version of the Christmas Story.  I love the Gospel of John generally, but the first chapter is especially meaningful!  My mind thinks in storys and abstractions--so I love it.  But, did you notice it wasn't your "typical" Christmas story.  There's no virgin birth or angels or trumpets.  There is just the Word.  Just Christ.  Just a light in the darkness.

Think of the darkest place you can imagine.  The deepest darkness you've ever seen.  No lights in the sky or coming through the blinds.  No light on your cellphone or TV.  Are you there in your mind?  In the pitch black.  Sit in the darkness a minute.  Breath in and out and soak it in.

Then suddenly in the midst of the darkness a single match lights.  That one tiny bit of light changes the look of the whole room.  It doesn't take much light to change the face of darkness.  A little light goes a long way.  That's how our lives are, aren't they?  Just a little light goes a long way.  Just a little love changes things.  Just a little hope can make a difference!

I don't know what you are facing today.  Whether the death of a loved one, a health scare, a job loss, the end of a relationship, money problems or more.  I don't know why the darkness is creeping in.  What I do know is that I know a God who is light in the darkness.  A light the darkness will never overtake.  As the darkness creeks in look for that light.  Look for that hope, bask in the glow--even if its nothing more than a glimmer.  As you bask in the glow, you'll be able to reflect it for others. 

Thats my prayer for you this Christmas--that you can find the light, the light that shines in the darkness.  Do not let the darkness win.  Shine the light.

Blessings, love and light to you!

Pastor Emily

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Way Late....

Ok, I'm late and will make this short.

Your assignment this week is John 1....Lets see what John has to say about the birth story!!!

Pastor Emily

Friday, December 9, 2011

I love the Christmas Story.  Its such a testament to the Incarnation.  Thats our big church word meaning God with us.  That God chose to come to earth to save us--to be part of us.

This is the beginning of 33 years that changed the world.  God broke into the world.  Living for us, loving us.  What beauty and splendor came from the dirt.  Just like at creation, God created out of the dirt!  What a lovely picture.  The first evangelists were the shepherds.

Did you know why Bethlehem was important to Israel?  Well, lets start in the beginning.  Bethlehem was the city where David was born.  Remember, David was a shepherd.  Why would a town that was a suburb of Jerusalem be full of shepherds?

That's right, to raise sheep for the temples.  Remember, the sheep had to be perfect. So Bethlehem shepherds were special.  They only raised special sheep.  Perfect sheep.  They were the ones that would go to the temple for slaughter.

And who announced Jesus' birth?  The one who would be the last lamb lead to slaughter?  The Shepherds.

God prophesized the truth from the beginning.  Just as it was to be.  There were signs and mile markers.  They should have known.  I love yelling at scripture like I like yelling at the TV.  Mary--look out!  He's going to die! Look out Herod is after you!  Look out!

But she never hears me.  Do you hear God?  When God is yelling out to you--WATCH OUT!  Be careful!  Don't go that way?  When the signs are all there?

Maybe tonight its time we open our ears to the signs.  The signs of angels and tiny whispers.  Maybe tonight its time to pray for direction and guidance.

God, open my hears, so I may hear.  The Hallelujahs and the Look Outs!


Pastor Emily

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Luke's Christmas Climax!

We are having Jesus be born a bit early this year!  Lets look at the Christmas Story with new eyes.

Read Luke 2:1-20.

What is different than you remembered it?
What is missing from this version?
Which parts line up with the prophesies we've read?


Friday, December 2, 2011

New Testament Prophesy

There's so much here! 

So, I'm going to skip over the Angel coming to Mary--come to church Sunday and we'll cover all of that!  I get to interview Mary!  You should be there, its going to be really special!
Next, Mary goes to Elizabeth--It was probably a three day walk.  As she walks in--John's baby LEAPT in her womb.  Now, I am sure of this, but don't baby's do that regularly?  Isn't that normal?  Regardless, Elizabeth knew that something was different! 

John was born and went on to be a prophet--sending God's message to the people!  His dad also prophesized at his brist.  I loved the last few lines of that scripture,

"And you, child (JOHN), will be called the prophet of the Most High;
   for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
   by the forgiveness of their sins.
78 By the tender mercy of our God,
   the dawn from on high will break upon
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
   to guide our feet into the way of peace."

I hope today Jesus will give you light and guide your feet into the way of peace.

This is the week of peace, I pray you find some today.

Love and PEACE and blessings!

Pastor Emily