DUE to the COVID-19 pandemic
WELCOME TO OUR VISITORS: Like everyone else, we are trying to avoid COVID-19 among all of us. Some of us are more vulnerable than others. We ask everyone to keep six feet from others and wear a mask so that no one becomes ill by attending worship. Some of us will be participating virtually through Zoom at home and others will be in the building. If in the future you wish to participate on Zoom at home contact Karl Marcussen and he will help you join us.
FOOD PANTRY PROCESS: One of the great works that this congregation is involved in is the food pantry. It is not only a great work because the food supply needs of hungry people in our area are being met by us (Matthew 25:34-35), but it is also great because we are being a part of the Dowagiac community as a whole. On December 18 we will receive two pickup truckloads of food from the regional Feeding America Food Bank (F.A.F.B). Our trucks will gather with all the other local food banks at one of the businesses in town to receive food off the F.A.F.B. semi. Volunteers from an area business will help load the food and then follow us to the building where they will help our workers carry the food into the building and stock our shelves. The first century church “had favor with all the people” (Acts 2:47) and that is what is happening with our food pantry. We even have two neighbors by the building who donate food, money, Family Fare receipts, and recyclable cans to help our program because they see the good work in process. Thanks to everyone who has had a part in this effort. It is “bearing much fruit.”
COAT GIVE AWAY: Another work that is doing some great things in the community and is glorifying God is our coat give away. Now that cold weather is upon us and the cold winter is approaching, we are finding children who do not have a winter coat, a stocking cap, or gloves. Lana and Tracey have been storing coats for many months, and now we are finding opportunity to get them in the hands of those who need them. If you know a child who needs a winter coat, please let one of these ladies know and they will make sure that every child in our region is warm throughout the cold months.
A. November — a series on Hebrews — encouragementI. BEFORE THE CREATION — Just God and light – 1 John1:5
B. Last week a study of Matthew and Luke
C. Today a study of John — THE CREATION IN SPIRIT
A. No time, no space, no darknessII. CREATION NEEDED MORE THAN PHYSICAL SURVIVAL.
B. Three persons made up that light.
1. The planner, wisdom — Proverbs 8:22-23C. The Creation account describes all that is good.
2. The worker, the action creator, the verb — Spirit
3. The announcer — the Word, the “logos” — John 1:1; 8-14; Colossians 1:16-20
1. Genesis 1:10 — Seas and the land — Proverbs 8:24-29
2. Genesis 1:11-12 — Life — plants — three kinds
3. Genesis 1:14-19 — Time and devices to measure time
4. Genesis 1:20-25 — Animal life with beauty, complexity
A. Beauty, complexity, wisdom — Acts 17:22-32
B. Love involved the spiritual, not just the physical.
1. Angels were limited — “agape” was not possible.C. Genesis 1:26-27 — Man is uniquely in God's image.
1. Man can love as God loves; but, man can sin.
2. Man rejected God's love, chose Satan instead.
3. God even regretted making man — Genesis 6:6.
III. MAN REACHED THE POINT OF BECOMING GOD'S SPIRITUAL FAMILY — MARK 3:35 AND MATTHEW 12:50.
A. Romans 8:14-17; Hebrews 2:17-18; Galatians 4:6-7
B. Acts 2:38 — When we are born again the Spirit of God becomes a part of us — Romans 6:3-7.
IV. THE BIRTH OF CHRIST WAS THE START OF MANKIND BEING A PART OF GOD'S FAMILY — A SPIRITUAL FAMILY.
A. Back to John 1:14 – John 1:17 — Law was physical.
B. John 1:32-33 — Christ brings the Holy Spirit to us.
C. The birth of Christ — the entrance to God's spiritual family. Not of the physical — John 18:36.
John referred to our concluding song: “There Is Power in the Blood.”
THE BACK PAGE
THE CREATION AND CHRISTMAS
Our lessons this month continue to take advantage of the season. Last month we studied Hebrews and saw that there is a reason for us to be Christians and not something else. One aspect of that study that is unique is the subject of today's lesson, and that is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the Creator. We began December by comparing the accounts in Matthew and Luke of the birth of Christ and of his childhood. We saw that the two accounts not only fulfill the hope of Israel, but also the hope of the Gentile world — that is you and me.
Today's lesson centers on what happened before there was any world, before time began, and what was involved in the creation process. We need to try to understand this, because Jesus Christ was different than Mohammad or Buddha or any other claim of any religious group. All other religious figures were mortals. They came into a world that not only was already created, but also had people living on it. Colossians 1:16-20 tells us that by Jesus “were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible.”
That means that quarks and neutrinos, the building blocks of matter itself, were created by Jesus. When you go outside and look up and see the gorgeous skies that we have available to look at now, all of that was created by Jesus. When you see pictures of galaxies and star clusters that are massive in size and strewn across space in such a way that we cannot really comprehend the size, it was created by Jesus.
As our world thinks about the Baby in the manger and we have the artists giving us cuteness and innocence in glowing terms we are seeing only the physical. The more amazing thing that we should think about during the Christmas celebration is that the one who created space and time, and billions of galaxies, and quarks, and dark matter and us, that One was willing to come to earth, be born in a place where there was no bed, and live a simple life where he did not even have a place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). And yet those who did not understand all that nailed him, the Creator, the Son of God to a cross where he was willing to die for you and for me.
— John Clayton
Our sign by the street!
Sign saying from www.sayingsforchurchsigns.com (modified some).
Scripture links/references are from BibleGateway.com. Unhighlighted scriptures can be looked up at their website.