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Tag: eternal

The Word Became Flesh

I had originally planned to wrap up the book of 1 Samuel this morning, but for a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to put that off for today, and instead, I’d like to begin turning our focus towards Christmas. I think Hope and all the kids have done a great job of starting that already as they take us through the progression of advent.

As we enter the season of Christmas, I think it’s important that we remind ourselves of it’s significance. Christmas is not just another holiday. It is foundational to our faith. Without the reality of that first Christmas, we truly would have no reason for hope, joy, or peace! The physical birth of Jesus Christ is central to our understanding of the Gospel. And so this morning, I want to remind us of the significance of Christmas.

Now the passage that I want to look at today isn’t one of your typical Christmas passages. It’s not directly related to the story of Mary & Joseph or the wisemen or the shepherds or even one of the many prophecies in the Old Testament that point us towards the birth of the Messiah. But it is very much related to the birth of Christ.

Each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John) – all tell the story of Jesus, but they are all very different in how they approach the story of his birth. For example, Matthew tends to focus on Jesus’ father, Joseph, and he spends a great deal of time explaining the visit of the wise men and how King Herod reacted to the birth of this new born king! In contrast to that, Luke focuses more on Mary – and doesn’t even mention the wisemen, but he includes the details of the shepherds who were out in the fields and how the angels announced Jesus’ birth to them. Then, in contrast to both of Luke & Matthew, Mark skips over Jesus’ birth entirely and jumps into the story after Jesus was already an adult.

And that leaves us with the Gospel of John – which presents Jesus’ birth in yet another way. John doesn’t really give us any specific, historic details of Jesus’ birth, but rather, he gives us a brief summary or introduction to who Jesus is and then explains why Jesus was born – rather than giving us all the details of how Jesus was born. It’s a bit more of a big picture view rather than a detailed series of events.

And so that’s what I want to look at this morning. In the weeks ahead, we’ll go through the stories and events of how Jesus came to be born, but I want to start with the more foundational issue and that is “Who exactly is this Jesus who was born some 2000 years ago and what is so significant about his birth?”

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Built to Last

I want to begin this morning with a simple question: What will you be remembered for? What is it about you that people will remember even after you’re gone?

Some people, like Wayne Gretzky or Tiger Woods, will be remembered for their great ability to play sports. Other people, like Sir Winston Churchhill or Abraham Lincoln, will be remember for being great and influential leaders. Still other people, like the Wright brothers or Thomas Edison, will be remember for their life-changing inventions.

But how about you? Not all of us will be world class athletes or national leaders or famous inventors. So how will we be remembered? How will you be remembered?

This morning we are beginning a new message series. And the title of this series is “Built to Last”.  And one of the main issues we want to tackle is, “What can we do with this brief period of time called “our life” that will have lasting impact? Because, I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want my life be useless. I don’t want to live on this planet for some 90 years and accomplish nothing of value.  I want to do something that matters. I want to be a part of something that will last.

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