Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
This coming Lord’s Day, the final Sunday of Advent 2018, we are continuing our sermon series on the temptation experience of our Lord Jesus Christ in the “wilderness” as recorded in Matthew 4:1-11. Along the way, we have learned that this is how our Lord’s earthly public ministry as the Incarnate Son of God started when He was thirty years old. It was there, in that wilderness experience, that Jesus began both to suffer for the redemption of sinners, and to inaugurate His conquest over the devil, sin, and all of the powers of hell itself!
So far we have examined the first two of the three temptations. The first was for Jesus to turn the desert “stones” into “bread” rather than trusting in the faithful and timely provision of His Father. The second was for Jesus to cast Himself off the “pinnacle of the temple” in a spectacular display of divine power, thereby becoming an impressive Messiah who would attract followers by giving them what they most desired. And, of course, we have seen how in each of the first two temptations Jesus deployed the Word of God in order to defeat the devil’s evil suggestions.
On Sunday, we will consider the last of the three temptations. We read about it in Matthew 4:8-1O:
8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’”
I pray that we will all be filled with holy wonder and fervent love for our dear Savior as we consider these inspired Words and hear them proclaimed on Sunday!
Two Quick Reminders
There is no Sunday School this week or on December 30. There will be a Fellowship time at 10:00 AM, followed by Worship at 10:30 AM.
Monday night, December 24 at 5:00 PM, is our annual Christmas Eve Service of Worship and Communion. We will hear the reading of several Scripture passages on our Lord’s incarnation, sing the songs and hymns of Christmas, and share in the Lord’s Supper. This service will last under one hour, and visitors are most welcomed!! A nursery will also be provided.
Carol and I love you all so dearly, and we pray that your Christmas will be most blessed this year!
December 24, 5 PM – Christmas Eve Service
January 13, 12 PM – Second Sunday Fellowship Lunch
Order of Worship:
If you’d like to sing the songs with your family beforehand, the songs for this week are:
O Little Town of Bethlehem – Hymn 201 v.1,2,4
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Hymn 211 v.1-3
Angels We Have Heard On High – Hymn 214 v.1-3
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus – Hymn 196 v.1-4
And for Christmas Eve:
O Come All Ye Faithful – Hymn 208 v.1,3,4
Hark! the Herald Angels Sing – Hymn 203 v.1-3
Joy to the World – Hymn 195 v.1,2,4
Away In A Manger – Hymn 204 v.1-3
Silent Night – Hymn 210 v.1-3
Schedule: Sunday is the last session of Sunday School for the year. On December 23 and December 30 we will meet for fellowship at 10 AM followed by our service of worship at 10:30. Our regular Sunday School schedule will resume on January 6.
Christmas Eve Service: December 24 at 5 PM we will have our Christmas Eve service. Friends and family are most welcome! Child care will be provided.
Baby Nursery Volunteers: I have set up our volunteer schedule for spring semester. Please grab a date or two there if you are able. This website sends a reminder to you two days prior so that you won’t forget.
Items for The CARE Center: Every year at Christmas our church in conjunction with the CARE Center in New Hope collects for the needy in our community. We will collect items over the next two weeks (through Sunday December 23). The following items are most needed: Toiletries – shampoo, tooth brushes and paste, shaving razors/blades/soap and Food Items – spaghetti noodles/sauce, boxes of cereals, oatmeal. Also needed are $10 gas gift cards (to help with transportation for needy attending GED/High School completion prep classes). No toys needed this year. If you would like to contribute, bring items to church and place in marked container in the Narthex through December 16. Questions – ask Norman Dean or Joe Sims.
Youth Group: There is a presbytery-wide winter retreat coming up, the Roots retreat, January 25-27, 2019 at Camp ToknowHim. You can get more info by clicking here. The base price is $100 for the weekend. $110 with the t-shirt, and $122 for t-shirt plus the extreme hike. Students can make the checks payable to our church.
Healing: Please pray for the health of the following individuals: Bill Cowley, Larrabee Kirkland, Cynthia Dent, Katie Dyer, Suzanne Nimon, Robin Holloway, Chris Smotherman, Elizabeth Holton, Janet Chou, Ramona Edwards, and Nolan Osmer.
Ministries: Please pray for the following missionaries and ministries: Seth and Jessica Lewis (Ireland); Steve and Rita Williams (New Zealand); Vinnie and Molly Athey (RUF at UAH); RUF at Alabama A&M; Ken and Angie Burnett (FCA); Franky Garcia (seminary student).
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288 Old Highway 431
Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763