Simply Christmas continued this past week. It was a great time to connect. If you missed it here is the play back. Pastor Eric opened with funny family pictures. StockbridgeAssembly staff presented a Christmas video.
(you can see it on StockbridgeAssembly facebook page.
Worship was rocking. We had special guest come sing, Kids Alive. Thanks to all the kids and team leaders that made that possible. That was great
We also had another baby dedication. Its pretty cool to see so many dedications lately. (be fruitful and multiply)
The message was simply family
• We need love in our families – You see love all through the Christmas story. Joseph had to have some love for Mary. He was a righteous man, compassionate man, and a committed man.
• We need families that believe in the impossible- Joseph and Mary were guided by faith not fear. Fear hinders the impossible. Fear is the absence of trust.
• We need families that follow divine direction – Joseph and Mary followed what the Lord told them to do. Faith without action is dead.
I have been really wrapped up in the Christmas story this year. For whatever reason, G-d has shed some light on things I use to ignore. Embracing His story will change your life. I would encourage you to read the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke. Then be like the shepherds after they heard the good news, they went to find Jesus. And they found Him.
Here are a few thoughts that have been stirring.
Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes – From my understanding this would have been pieces of linen. Mary would wrap Him tightly with the linen. However, everyday she would Unwrap Him for obvious reasons (cleaning). The thought is we too should unwrap Jesus on a daily bases. The only difference is when we unwrap Him He cleanses us.
He is the gift from G-d that needs to be opened. And the best part this gift keeps giving and there is something new every day when you open it.
It was a great Sunday this past week. If you missed it here is the play-by-play. Eric opened with a discussion about Christmas Décor and gave out free toothpaste and free sandwiches coupons.
Special guest, Coach Schmitt addressed StockbridgeAssembly and thanked us for serving at Woodland High School.
The thought for the message was Simply Hope.
Hope is what the Christmas story brings to us. We talked about the shepherds in the fields watching their sheep and how hopeless they must have felt.
Key thoughts about the Shepherds
• 400 years of silence from the close of the Old testament to the opening of the New Testament
• Being a shepherd was a tough job.
• Shepherds were marginalized in society
• Not much in finical advancement
• They were fighters (always protecting their herd)
• They worked months on end. Separated from family.
• They lived with sheep. Day in and day out.
• Shepherds were watching their flock by night
Darkness (night) can lead to fear, danger lurks in darkness, we get lost in darkness
They story in Luke paints a dark picture before the angels show up
We all can relate to the shepherds at some point or another. Hopeless, dark, and tough times.
But when the angel shows up he brings light. 3 different times in Luke’s story light and peace are together
The angel said that there was a
• Savior – someone that will rescue you in time of trouble
• Messiah or Christ – The promised one , G-d still follows through on His promises
• Lord – The coming ruler to bring peace
And the best part was, Jesus was for them.
The angel also gave them a sign that pointed to Jesus
• G-d has always offered us signs in times of hopelessness that point to Jesus.
This Christmas G-d is for You and G-d is with You. There is always Hope
Here is the Play by Play of yesterdays gathering and kickoff of Simply Christmas at StockbridgeAssembly
• We opened with a comical thought about Bad Gifts people have given and received. (Have you ever given a bad gift? I have) G-d has never given a bad gift!
• Worshiped Rocked! Charles and the team did great.
• I was able to give honor to someone that spoke into my life 17 years ago, Ms. Margie. She actually prophesied over Nikki and I that we would be in the ministry. At the time we were not even attending a church.
• ‘Big” P (Patric) shared a monologue – the main point "Don’t just sing Joy to the world, but share Joy with the world."
• A Simple Challenge - A challenge was given to stay focused on the true meaning of Christmas. This is, G-d loving us so much that He gave His Son to die in our place.
• Spend less and Give more- Don’t get so caught up in the consumerism of this culture, but rather reflect G-d in your giving. He gave a personal gift, relational gift, a gift that made a difference, a gift of presence.
• Embrace His Story – Encouraged everyone to read the Christmas Story and other scriptures to keep it alive in us. Not just once but daily. Maybe try http://www.youversion.com/ and read the rediscovering Christmas reading plan.
• Celebrate – As Christ followers we should be people that know how to celebrate! We should be smiling. Celebrate with family (old traditions and new traditions), Friends (have a party and share in a meal together), and everyone (try to make someone else smile by random acts of kindness).