Pastor Barry is the speaker unless otherwise noted. Schedule subject to change.
12/1/19 “All I Want for Christmas is…” Philippians 4:10b-13. Many of us share a belief that happiness is directly related to two things…The acquiring of things and/or the altering of circumstances. The apostle Paul had learned to be content, but his contentment was not related to circumstances or things. There’s a lot about the secular celebration that breeds discontent. Perhaps we would be wise to put “contentment” on our Christmas list.
12/8/19 Christmas Gift Giving. John 3:16 & Matthew 2:1,2&11. The origin of giving gifts at Christmas goes back to the manger in Bethlehem. In fact, that really is what Christmas is all about – God giving salvation to us through the gift of His Son. Additionally, the three magi endured a long, difficult journey to bring gifts to the Christ Child. Today, much of gift giving has become superficial and something of a burden instead of being spontaneous and joyful. In this sermon, Pastor Barry shares how we can redeem and restore gift giving as a means of communicating love, friendship and appreciation.
12/15/19 Jesus: There’s Just Something About That Name. Matthew 1:18-23. God wants to be known in a very real, deep, intimate way. The message of Christmas is that God is no longer way off up there somewhere but through his son, whose name is Emmanuel, God is with us. To know Jesus is to know God. Not just knowing about God but to really know God. The message, abundant, and abundantly clear in the Bible is There really is something special about Jesus’ name. This name identified the believer not just as a religious person who believed in God or knew about God but as someone who knew God in a personal way.
12/22/19 The Wisdom of the Wisemen. Matthew 2:1-2. Even though we don’t know a lot about the Wise Men we can understand why they are called “wise”. It has more to do with what they did than with what they knew. And what did they do? They followed God’s divine leading, they responded in faith, and they worshipped the Christ Child. When a person has truly received the gift of God’s Son, worship and the outpouring of gifts is a natural response. This is what Christmas is all about…God’s gift to us – His Son, and our gift to God – our heart and life. We demonstrate the wisdom of the Wise Men when we follow, have faith in, and worship Jesus.
12/29/19 Guest Speaker: Crystal Lancaster
TBD Renewing Your Strength. Isaiah 40:29-31. One of the greatest of all spiritual truths is “God can and does bring life out of death.” We who were born into spiritual death, may be born anew unto life eternal. This is the first and greatest spiritual truth that we need to appropriate for ourselves, but there is one which follows. As soon as we discover that we have life, whether in the spiritual or physical realm, we discover that there is a need for strength (energy) to live that life. The prophet Isaiah declares that He who gives life is also He who can continually renew it.
TBD The Patient Father. Luke 15:1-31. The parable of the Prodigal Son is not nearly so much about the prodigal son as it is the father’s patience, love and forgiveness. Our heavenly father has given us great freedom; a marvelous freedom, but because of that we are capable of acts that are evil and hurtful… why does he permit it? The father of the prodigal son gives us a picture of God who sees in our voluntary submission and love something so valuable that God Himself runs down the road to throw His arms around any man or woman who makes a move in God’s direction.
TBD: The Strange Gift of Suffering. II Corinthians 1:3-7. Pain and suffering are heightened when they happen during the most joyous time of the year. Suffering is an integral part of the message of Christmas. There is much emphasis on giving gifts at Christmas but no one would think of suffering as a gift, no one except for the apostle Paul. We find his Christmas gift wish-list in the second letter he wrote to the church in Corinth, and on it is “the fellowship of His suffering.” It’s a strange gift but in this sermon Pastor Barry shares why it truly is a gift we each should be happy to receive.
TBD: Advent: God’s Wake-Up Call.