Dear Immanuel family,
Yesterday I was invited over to my son’s house for dinner. My granddaughter climbed up in my lap, looked up at me with those big blue eyes and then put her head down on my chest. Although she can’t talk yet she was “communicating.” It was one of those moments that happen on this side of heaven when we say, “It doesn’t get any better than this!” It reminded me that some of the best gifts this Christmas will not be under the Christmas tree.
Certainly the greatest gift came that first Christmas. Augustus’ decree sent everyone bustling back to their home towns for a census. The sleepy quaint town of Bethlehem was thriving with visitors who filled the streets and hotels to the max. My mind can imagine the sounds and smells of food venders, people traveling on horseback or in ox carts, and even some like Mary and Joseph on donkeys. To think that the creator of the universe stepped into time in such a lowly fashion is just beyond comprehension; an event largely unnoticed in Bethlehem except by a few shepherds and three wise men.
As Mary looked at those tiny hands, little did she know they would touch a leper’s open wound, wipe a widow’s tear, and be used to hold her son on Calvary’s cross.What a gift our Lord gave us. We don’t have to wait for this gift. “For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17). The world received the greatest Gift ever: Jesus Christ.
Mary was given a gift – Jesus.
The shepherds were told where to find the gift – Jesus.
The wise men came bringing gifts – to Jesus.
Will you receive the Gift – of Jesus?
If you haven’t opened this gift yet, please do it now. If you are interested see the attached “Romans Road.”
Preparing for Sunday Worship – Sunday’s Scripture Reading – Isaiah 42:1-9. Message Title: Paul to Agrippa, Bernice and Festus – Acts 26:2-23.
Cookies for Inmates – Good News Jail & Prison Ministry will be distributing cookies to inmates at the Chesterfield County Jail for Christmas. They can be any type of cookie; ones made from scratch, a mix or ones from the dairy case. The cookies will need to be brought to the church by Sunday, December 21st. You may leave them in the Fellowship Hall kitchen or Naomi Corcoran’s office and be sure they are marked for Good News Jail Ministry. If you have any questions, contact Chaplain John Corcoran .
Children’s Concert, Cookies, and Cocoa – Please remember that on Sundayevening, December 21st, the Children’s concert (voices and instruments), in the Fellowship Hall, will begin at 6:00 pm instead of the normal 6:30 pm. The children participating in the program need to arrive at 5:00 pm. Please come and enjoy a casual evening of singing and refreshments as we celebrate the Lord’s birth.
Clothes Closet Ministry – As you make room for your new Christmas gifts, please remember the Clothes Closet for any items you either don’t need or no longer want. With this ongoing cold winter we are in need of warm clothing, coats, gloves, and leather shoes, especially in men’s sizes. We are constantly in need of toiletries. Presently, we are low on deodorant, disposable razors and toothpaste. We are also looking for warm blankets. Any help you could provide would be so appreciated by our Clothes Closet visitors!