Christmas is almost here. We have new hope in God, for God came into our world and our lives in an unexpected way. God is doing something new, in us, now. We may act like Zechariah, questioning if this could really happen, because all we’ve known is pain and loss. We may act like Joseph, afraid that what should be good news isn’t good news for us. We may be like Ahaz, afraid that everything good will fall apart-but lo, something new is about to be born.
We can be like Elizabeth and Mary, trusting that God is with us, and asking us to participate in the reign, now. And though hardship will still befall us, what is new cannot be undone. What is born cannot be unborn. God is breathing new life into us, and into our world. Watch and wait: it is being revealed, right now…
God promises a sign for King Ahaz, who is looking to Assyria for assistance with the threats of neighbouring Damascus and Samaria, that a virgin will give birth and call the child “Immanuel”, and that the enemy nations will be desolate before the child knows good from evil.
Mary discovers herself to be pregnant while betrothed to Joseph, but Joseph is informed in a dream that the Child is of God, and must be named Jesus. These events are proclaimed to be the fulfilment of Isaiah’s prophecy of the virgin who conceives and gives birth to Immanuel.
O Come, Thou Wisdom from on high, and order all things far and nigh. To us the path of knowledge show, and cause us in her ways to go. O Come, Thou Wisdom, enter our lives and teach us how to live with the Good News that Jesus Christ is born again, in our hearts and in our world. Help us to heed the prophets of old and their cry for justice. Call us to listen to the stories that teach us of God’s great love that comes to us among the animals and the shepherds. Guide us to the songs of the angels, who lay down the weapons of war to sing peace on earth and goodwill to all. May we find that song in our hearts, in the rhythm of the rocking cradle. O Come, Thou Wisdom from on high, and call us to rejoice, for God is with us, Emmanuel. Amen.
Music: Chancel Choir & Fusion
Ushers: Steve Flint, Pat Price, Al Reiman, Mike Thorpe,
Advent Reading: Liz Reyes Rodriguez and Gustavo Rodriguez
Coffee And…: Pat and Tom Price
Thursday December 19
6:30pm Aldersgate Ringers
7:30pm Chancel Choir
Friday December 20
8:30am Toy Shop
Monday December 23
Church Office Open
Tuesday December 24
4:30, 7:30, 11:00 Christmas Eve Services
Wednesday December 25
Tuesday, December 24 – Christmas Eve!
4:30pm Christmas Eve Service
7:30pm Christmas Eve Service in the chapel
11:00pm Christmas Eve Service
Sunday, December 29 – One Worship Service 10:00am
Lombard Villa Park Food Pantry
Toy Shop Volunteers & Toys Needed
The Food Pantry will be collecting new, unwrapped toys for ages newborn to 12 starting now until December 18th when Redefine will sort the toys.
We are always short on infant/toddler toys and boys and girls age 10 & up.
If you would like to donate, you may drop off the toy(s) in the church office.
If you would like to volunteer on Friday, December 20th from 8:15 am-noon, please email Linda Dumas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your generosity!
January 2020 – Christian Formation Adult Class.
Millions of Christians have struggled with how to reconcile God’s love and God’s judgment: Has God created billions of people over
thousands of years only to select a few to go to heaven and everyone else to suffer forever in hell?
Is this acceptable to God? How is this “good news”?
Troubling questions-so troubling that many have lost their faith
because of them. Others only whisper the questions to themselves, fearing or being taught that they might lose their faith and their church if they ask them out loud.
But what if these questions trouble us for good reason? What if the story of heaven and hell we have been taught is not, in fact, what the Bible teaches? What if what Jesus meant by heaven, hell, and salvation are very different from how we have come to
What if it is God who wants us to face these questions?
Author, pastor, and innovative teacher Rob Bell presents a deeply biblical vision for
rediscovering a richer, grander, truer, and more spiritually satisfying way of
understanding heaven, hell, God, Jesus, salvation, and repentance. The result is the discovery that the “good news” is much, much better than we ever imagined.
Paper back $9.99, Kindle (Amazon) $11.99, Audio (CD) $9.98