The Announcement – God’s Voice Heard

The Announcement – God’s Voice Heard
Luke 1:26-38 (Week Two of Advent)

  1. God manifested His work in Mary so that Jesus Christ would be manifested to the World. (Luke 1:26-29)
  2. Mary encountered a crisis of fact and faith that only the truth of Jesus could resolve. (Luke 1:34)
  3. The Holy Spirit made the Purpose of Christ reality. (Luke 1:35)
  4. The reality of Christ caused worshipful obedience (Luke 1:36-38)

Questions for Further Discussion:

  1. When was an occasion that you received an unexpected honor?
  2. How do you tend to react when you receive unexpected good news?
  3. Who greeted Mary? Why? (Luke 1:26-28)
  4. How did Mary learn of her role in Jesus’ birth? (Luke 1:26-28)
  5. How did Mary feel when the angel appeared to her? (Luke 1:29-30)
  6. How did Gabriel describe the child that would be born to Mary? (Luke 1:31-33)
  7. What title would Jesus have? (Luke 1:32)
  8. What Old Testament personalities were part of Jesus’ royal line? (Luke 1:32-33)
  9. Why wasn’t Mary struck dumb by the angel as Zechariah was? (Luke 1:34)
  10. How did Mary’s response to the angel differ from Zechariah’s? (Luke 1:34, 38)
  11. Why did Gabriel mention Elizabeth’s pregnancy to Mary? (Luke 1:36-37)
  12. What kind of attitude was apparent in Mary’s response to the angel’s visit? (Luke 1:38)
  13. What did Mary’s final statement to Gabriel show about her relationship with God? (Luke 1:38)
  14. What do Mary’s responses to Gabriel tell us about the kind of people through whom God works?
  15. In what different ways do people respond to the story of Christ’s birth?
  16. What difference does it make whether or not a person believes that the child born to Mary was really the Son of God?
  17. How has the fact that “with God, nothing is impossible” taken root in your life?
  18. In what ways would you say Mary’s responses to Gabriel summarize what our relationship with God ought to be like?
  19. What “impossibilities” in your life do you want to thank God for this week?
  20. What can you do to maintain a servant’s attitude as you live from day to day?
  21. In what ways can you develop the kind of humble spirit that Mary had?

Blue Christmas Service 2017

Here is an Invitation … for you.

Ever notice how happy people seem to be around Christmas time? Everyone seems to be smiling, rushing around shopping for presents, attending parties, and looking forward to the various events of the season.

But what about those of us who aren’t quite feeling it? And what about those of us who are downright blue during the holidays? Sometimes there’s a reason – the loss of a loved one, or other memories we’d really rather not remember, and sometimes, it’s just what’s going on in the world around us, that beats us down and causes us not to enjoy the things we used to enjoy – like celebrating Christmas.

Where is our hope? Can we be honest without bringing everybody else down? Is it okay to feel this way? Is it normal!?

Ever ask those questions? If so, you might want to attend a special service:

A Blue Christmas – A Service of Hope (For Those Who are Grieving)
Wednesday, December 20th
6:30 pm

Come and share an honest look at the Hope of Christmas…

Come…
Celebrate in a new way.

Come…
And be comforted

The Story – God’s Plan Revealed

December 3
The Story. God’s Plan Revealed
Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7

  • The Story: from brokenness to redemption (Isaiah 9:1)
  • The Hope: divinely planned and forever assured (Isaiah 9:2)
  • The Person: a Light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2, 6-7)

Questions for Further Study:

  1. What positive associations do you have with light?
  2. Although he had been preaching God’s judgment (particularly on the kingdom of Israel), what
    total reversal did Isaiah foresee in the future? (Isaiah 9:1)
  3. What contrasting images did Isaiah use to set the scene of his prophecy? (Isaiah 9:2)
  4. To what situations did Isaiah compare the joy that will be Israel’s? (Isaiah 9:3)
  5. What did Isaiah predict God would do for Israel, causing her to rejoice? (Isaiah 9:4-5)
  6. How does Isaiah describe the Ruler who will be provided by God for His people? (Isaiah 9:6-7)
  7. What attributes of God are apparent in this passage?
  8. How is God’s promise of the coming child an answer to His anger over our sin?
  9. How would you explain the Light that came into your darkness?
    Why might it be dangerous to downplay the seriousness of our situation whenever we encounter hardship?
  10. What specific injustice in your area of influence can you challenge in the name of God? How?
  11. What person do you know who is still “walking in darkness” for whom God would have you
    pray?

Missions Giving Catalog for 2017

For more information about the organizations featured in our Missions Giving Catalog, please click the links below:

Catalyst Resources International

International Mission Board – Lottie Moon Christmas Offering

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship – Global Missions Offering

Alma Hunt Offering

Judeo Christian Outreach Center

Campus Crusade

John Leland Center for Theological Studies

Virginia Voices International

People in Need Ministries

 

Journey to Christmas 2017

November 19th and 26th
Advent in a Box distribution
[ Advent Devotionals ]

December 1st
6:00 p.m. – Youth Christmas Party

December 2nd
6:00 p.m. – Pre-teen Christmas Party

December 3rd – Advent I
8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. – Worship Service

December 4th
5:00 p.m. – JOY Club to Tidewater Winds Concert at Sandler Center

December 8th
5:30-8:30 p.m. – Winter Wonderland: Parents’ Night Out
Registration is Required [ more info ]

December 10th – Advent II
8:30 a.m. – Worship Service
11:00 a.m. – Worship Service (combined with the Well)
6:00 p.m. – A Night of Worship
“Hallelujah For the Baby Who Came”

December 14th
3:00 p.m. – JOY Club to Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

December 17th – Advent III
8:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m. – Worship Service

December 24th – Christmas Eve Services (Advent IV)
9:00 a.m. – Christmas Fellowship
10:00 a.m. – One Church Wide Worship Service
5:00 p.m. – Vespers (Candles, Carols, Communion)

A Thrill of Hope 2016

I recently watched the trailer for the new Star Wars film, “Rogue One: a Star Wars Story” and was intrigued at the story line.

In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This event brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves. Perhaps this is the essence of the Christian calling and mission.

I was also intrigued with a line I heard from the main the character, Jyn Erso, played by Felicity Jones. In a meeting of the rebellion forces who are against the Empire, it is said, “If the Empire has this kind of power, what hope do we have?” The response was, “We have hope. Rebellions are built on hope.”

Jesus was perhaps the Rogue One who went against the religious leaders of their day, he died for his cause and mission, he was raised to victory, and his followers were rebellious enough to carry out the Great Commission when the chances of success were minimal.

Since we also have an oppressive enemy, Christians can identify with this Star Wars story. We might wonder why this franchise has been so popular for decades, and I believe that in it, we find OUR story.

Since we live in a fallen world, people down through the ages have been in bondage to sin. Our greatest desire is to be set free, but our enemy is powerful; just look at the evil we find all over the world. But we have hope. For generations, the Jews had awaited the arrival of the promised Deliverer, the Hero who would save his people, not from an evil Empire but from our sins.


Here is the challenge and wrap-up from Scott Chafee:

The presentation tonight has been all about hope. Our children sang the opening song, “Born is the King (It’s Christmas)” which summarizes the joy of the reason for the season. Then Erica and the kids sang, “We have a Savior,” and THAT is the message of Christmas, the story leads to the cross.

We were challenged by Pam, Chuck, and Amy to not see this season as, “Just Another Christmas.” Don’t be so familiar with the story that we miss the true message of Christmas, which is the annunciation of the Savior, and for that we sing, “Noel,” a shout for joy at the coming of the Good News. Beth’s song had a beautiful message of “Noel, come and see what God has done…”

“Who Would Have Dreamed” that God in the flesh would be born in such a lowly way. Mikki sang “Who would have dreamed or ever foreseen that we could hold God in our hands?”

The came rejoicing, “Hallelujah, He is Here.” The shepherds and Magi came to “Adore” him, and we should do the same. Vicki then beautifully reminded us that, “Hope Has Hands,” and grace has a face. Not in the baby girl named Hope, but in the Savior who came to save his people form their sins.

Since “He Shall Reign Forevermore,” isn’t it about time to make the commitment to this Savior? Jesus is the one born and laid in a manger, but that was not his significant achievement. He went on to live a sinless life, and was the perfect substitution and sacrifice to pay the penalty for the sins of the world; and that includes you and me. No one is beyond his love or his forgiveness.

At the end of the presentation, we heard Vince lead through the final song, “Hallelujah, What a Savior.” Christians know and celebrate this fact every year, actually we celebrate it every Sunday. Is THIS year the time where you embrace this truth and make him YOUR Savior?

PRAYER: Our gracious heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of Love, Joy, Peace, and Hope which came in the form of a baby 20 centuries ago. He lived a sinless life and died on the cross to save us from not only the Enemy but from ourselves. I pray that everyone in this room has made a commitment to Christ, but we know that not everyone has. We beg your Holy Spirit to move through this auditorium and help people to have the faith to believe that THIS Rogue One name Jesus is the answer we need to defeat the powerful enemy that seeks to destroy our lives here in this life, and for the afterlife. May your Spirit speak to all of us tonight. May we all be a part of something greater than ourselves, and experience the Thrill of Hope. AMEN.


P.S.
At the end I thanked all the cast, choir, guest musicians, and praise band for using their gifts and abilities in God’s honor. We thanked Bud Livers for writing and directing the dramatic presentation, and Kinnie for pulling the whole thing all together, but I saw Debbie and Henry Blotkamp on the set creating props that transformed our stage into Dawson’s Deli. Thanks to our guests Derek Smith for mixing sound and Geoff Service for playing bass. Thank you Social Committee for all the enjoyable fellowship refreshments. Thank you Ethan Livers for operating the video camera to we share this event with others. Thank you Dave Zurek for your construction of the deli and stage elements, and also the several men who came out to set up and tear down the whole set.

Lauren (as Julie) – Debbie (as Madge) – Tom (as Jack) – John (as Jeff)


Kinnie and the Choir

The Ensemble and the Praise Band