December 18, 2018
THIS THURSDAY, December 20th at 6:30 we will be our annual Christmas Program and Party! Please bring a tray of finger foods or holiday fare to share! The children will be presenting a short program and then we will be celebrating the season with great fellowship and good food. Carol and I will be leading in some group games that everyone will enjoy! Please invite your neighbors and friends to come with you for this special event!
This coming Sunday is Christmas Sunday. We will gather to worship God and seek His face. The topic of the sermon is: “Waiting on God.” People who wait on God are able to understand what God is doing on the earth! The wisemen knew who Jesus was and came from a great distance to Bethlehem to honor Jesus at His birth! These men were actually pagan “Magi,” (mystics) -a class of pagan seers from Persia- who spent their days in meditation and study of the earth and stars. They were known all over the ancient world because of their skill in interpreting omens, signs, and the celestial events. Even though the magi were not Jews (or Christians) God honored them because they gave their attention to seeking and waiting on God. Anna and Simeon were both people who recognized who Jesus was when they saw Him as a baby in the temple. It was because they were people who waited on God. The Bible tells us that Anna “did not depart from the temple, serving night and day with fasting and prayers.” Simeon was described as someone who “was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him.” Waiting on God is what the Bible describes is necessary for us to know God and know what He is doing in our lives.
God reveals His heart to those who wait on Him. Meditation on the Word of God, fasting and prayer are all ways that we can wait (give our attention to) the Spirit of God. Everyone is encouraged to have a daily time waiting on God by scripture reading, meditation and prayer.
We are setting aside January, 7th- 9th for our final 3-day fast. On Thursday, January 10th at 6:30 we will meet for Prayer, the Lord’s Supper and Footwashing. Please note these dates on your calendar. This will be an important event in the life of our church family. The goal of the fast is to seek the Lord with humility and open hearts. It is the the process described in Joel 2:13-14: “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing…” Our Goal in fasting is to wait on God for His intervention and His insight and discernment in the life of our church.
After this January 3 day fast and prayer meeting we will gather for a family meeting (later in January) to share and discern together what direction we should go as a church.
Starting on Sunday, January, 6th we will be starting a new 8 week series: “BE-ing Church” We will be following the outline of Francis Chan’s new book; “Letters to the Church.” If you would like a copy for $12 (bookstore price is $16) please reply to this email. Francis Chan was a successful author and mega-church pastor in southern California. He was led by the Lord to give more and more of his time to fasting and prayer. During these periods of drawing close to God, he had a number of profound encounters. He began to discern from the Lord that the American Church did not resemble the Biblical church. He began to sense that American pastors were doing what attracted people instead of what attracted God. He was so convicted by the Lord about this that He who stepped down from leading his church of over 2000 people in 2007. He handed over leadership to other pastors and then spent a year with the church in India and Tibet. His book; “Letters to the Church” contains prophetic insight into the heart of God for the American church. This series will be life changing!
See you on Thursday evening at 6:30!
Pastor Jon Quesenberry