Rev. Lane Stephenson
People Who Missed Christmas
Scripture records different responses to the birth of Christ. Some ignored the news of His birth or were indifferent to it. Some were openly hostile or fearful. Some who knew Old Testament prophecies of Christ failed to see the Christ of Scripture. As John's gospel says, the world did not know Him and His own people did not receive Him.
But - and that is a glorious word - to all who did receive Him, He gave the right to become the children of God. Some welcomed the news, rejoiced in it, and believed in Christ. By God's grace, their hearts and eyes were opened to see the beauty of Christ. Through the new birth that only God can give, they became the children of God.
This Sunday we will think of those who, for a multitude of reasons, did not welcome Christ. We will ask ourselves the most crucial question of all: Have we received Christ? Are we merely celebrating a season or rejoicing in the Savior's birth as those who believe upon Him?
Rev. Stacey M. Cox
A Christmas Prophecy
The Bible is a story, God's story. It recounts how the Creator made a beautiful and good world, and how He fashioned mankind in His image to share in His rule. It tells how things went terribly wrong, how the human race embraced the rule of sin and death. But God didn't simply walk away from His creation. Enter Christmas and the birth of Jesus.
This year we are calling our Advent series, "Immanuel: God with Us." And over the next four Sundays leading up to Christmas, we are going to look closely at some of the key elements of the biblical account of Christmas. We'll see exactly why the birth of a baby two thousand years ago should be important to us today. Hopefully we'll all come away with a new and deeper understanding of Christmas. We kick it off this Sunday with "A Christmas Prophecy." Hope you will join us!