This Coming Sunday’s Service

“Becoming a Child for Christmas”

Here are the sermon notes from Pastor Dave for this Sunday, December 10, 2017:
John tells the story of the coming of Christ very differently than his synoptic brothers.  Instead of talking about the coming of a child, John talks about the coming of light and the need for each of us to become more like children; specifically to become the children of God.  Jesus himself talked about the importance of receiving God like a child if we are to enter the Kingdom of God.  This week we will explore some of the qualities children possess that help them enter into the “wonder” of this season more fully (a sense of awe, curiosity and imagination, a willingness to receive, a desire to give themselves over giving things, etc.).  We as adults tend to think of ourselves as having “outgrown” many of what turn out to be the most important traits to the “With–God” life.  What are some of your long forgotten child-like traits that could help you to experience God and this season, faith and life, more fully and completely?
READ Scriptures:  John 1:9-14 & Matthew 18:1-5
  • How many “child-like” qualities could you list that might help a person grow closer to God?  What is it about “growing up” that robs or stifles those qualities?  How might we try to recapture or foster some of them?
  • Do you have a strong and active imagination or do you see yourself as more pragmatic and practical?  Why is a strong imagination so important in faith?  Why is it so important in human advancement and social change?
  • Even as you rush around buying gifts for others, what is it that you most need to receive from God this Christmas?
  • What are some specific ways you might be able to give the gift of yourself to people in your life this Christmas?
Below are notes and questions to ponder from last Sunday, December 3, 2017

“O Come Let Us Adore Him”

What a brilliant move! 
There has always been something about a baby that has a way of disarming us, humbling us and drawing us in while bringing out the very best in our human nature.  Babies have a way of infusing hope, affection, forgiveness, tenderness, kinship and perspective inside each of us.  The photo of the Syrian Refugee child dead on the beach moved mountains; galvanizing the will and action of people all over the world to help.  How ingenious was it of God to break into our world as a small, weak, defenseless human child; one of the most vulnerable of all animal species at birth?  There is very little these days that will bring us to our knees in humble adoration, but this particular child has been eliciting that exact reaction for thousands of years. 
O Come Let Us Adore Him!

READ:  Isaiah 9:6, 11:6, Luke 2:11-12 & Matthew 2:9-11

  • Explain a time when a baby or small child had you “wrapped around their finger”.
  • There are not many things in our lives that we “adore” these days.  What do you adore in your life?  What does adoration look like, feel like, for you?
  • In what different ways was it a brilliant move for God to come into our world as a small, defenseless baby?
  • In what ways is your personal style of worship a form of adoration?  In what ways could it be more?  How might you find time, this advent season, to allow yourself to worship and adore this child being born into our lives anew?   
Rev. Dave Carpenter