Good morning.


Merry Christmas!  I pray as you enter the month of December that you are excited about the upcoming Advent Season.  I just love Christmas.  On Monday morning, here at the church, my boys (Aaron & Brent) got the tree into the sanctuary, and Leavitt has worked hard to get everything looking merry and bright. Via text, I warned the electric guitarist for this Sunday (Felix Jordan) that if we did not move his guitar rig, then he’d be performing right in the middle of an evergreen tree!


I’d like to pass on a few words that stirred my soul from an Advent Devotional I recently started reading by Mark Yarbrough titled, Tidings of Comfort and Joy.  He writes:


“I’m a fan of decorations, candy canes, mistletoe, hot chocolate, presents, music, and family celebrations. I’ve found that during December more people have smiles on their faces, compassion in their hearts, and generosity in their actions. By God’s grace, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. However, it’s easy to get caught up in the “cultural” Christmas and miss the Messiah.  We don’t miss Him intentionally, but sometimes we forget to ponder why He came to this planet in the first place.  Sometimes, in our busyness, we fail to set up intentional ways to marvel at the plan of the ages-the greatest story ever told.”


Galatians 4: 4 sums up the plight of humanity, and also One who was sent to redeem it!  Paul writes, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.  God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” 


Without the humble birth of the Savior, the plight of humanity would have remained very bleak.  Christmas is a time when we get in touch with the miracle. And still, sometimes, opportunities come looking for us, to pay this miracle forward. That said, today I received an interesting phone call for help from a local church here on Main Street in Kingston.  Joe Goldberg, the interim pastor at Restoration Church, was hoping we might say, “Yes!”  They’ve been through a bit of a difficult time and were wondering if we’d partner with them to help serve the community with food and good cheer. They weren’t necessarily asking us to make food, just come alongside them to help serve it, and maybe worship with them in their sanctuary on the evening of December 17th (5 pm-8:30 pm) at the Kingston Luminaries. What else is happening on December 17th?  It’s ring-a-ling ling up at the Kingston Stop and Shop! (Sign-ups for both of these events are on the Welcome Center.)


It seems like maybe, God has a theme for us on December 17th.


This weekend I’m excited that Miranda and the worship team will bring us into God’s presence, and then Sonia Andreson will be sharing the last message on Hebrews to bring us into a “Christmas-focused” set of messages through the Advent Season. I hope you will join us.