Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
With the arrival of the Fourth Sunday of Advent this Lord’s Day, we will again turn to one of the Old Testament prophets to discover another of the ancient and inspired promises of Christmas.
This week our sermon passage will come from one of the most enigmatic books of the Bible, penned by one of the least known of the prophets, Zechariah.
You might be surprised to know that it is this prophetic book, written after the exile (about the year 520 BC), that is so very important for our understanding of the life of Jesus. In fact, one Bible scholar has noted that,
“ The last six chapters in the book of Zechariah are a part of the Old Testament on which Jesus Himself had deeply reflected and to which the New Testament writers turned to interpret His story.”
And one of my favorite New Testament commentators, the late Dr. F. F. Bruce, also recognized that the final chapters of the apocalyptic prophecy of Zechariah have “ left their mark in the passion narrative of all four Gospels.”
This is particularly evident in the passage we will turn to this Sunday, Zechariah 12:10-13:1.
There we find the following words:
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn . . . . On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.”
What a remarkable promise!
I think you can see the most obvious ways in which this prophecy was fulfilled in the life and death of our dear Savior and Lord! And I believe we can also recognize the links to Christmas as well, for Zechariah envisioned One, a great Redeemer, who was both divine and human.
He saw One who had the sovereign power of salvation and could declare the promise of redemption, “ I will pour out” (the Lord God is the speaker here), but also One who could suffer and die for the sins of the people, “ on me . . . whom they have pierced.”
On Sunday we will prayerfully examine these inspired words, and we will trace their fulfillment in the Gospels as we reflect for a final time upon the profound mystery of the Incarnation of our Lord.
I love you all so very much!
Dec 24, 5 PM – Christmas Eve Service
Jan 2, 11 AM – Women’s Thursday Potluck Lunch at Timber’s Edge
Jan 5, 6 PM – Career/Singles Bible Study at Daughtry Home
Jan 7, 6 AM – Men’s Morning Study at Panera Bread Co. Bridge Street
Jan 8, 12 PM – Men’s Lunch Study at Hilton Garden Inn
Jan 12, 12 PM – Second Sunday Fellowship Lunch
Order of Worship:
You can access this week’s Order of Worship by clicking here
If you’d like to sing the songs with your family beforehand, the songs for this week are:
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Hymn 211 v.1-3
Angels From the Realms of Glory – Hymn 218 v.1,3,5
Angels We Have Heard On High – Hymn 214 v.1-3
Who Would Have Dreamed
Please make plans to attend our Christmas Eve service on December 24 at 5 PM. Friends & family are welcome! Child care will be provided. Also there will be no Sunday School the mornings of December 29 or January 5. We will have fellowship at 10 AM, with the service of worship beginning at 10:30. Our regular schedule will resume January 12.
The Advent Wreath in the narthex is full of rich symbolism anticipating the celebration of our Savior’s birth. It is round – in Him there is no beginning or ending. It is filled with evergreens – He is eternal. The four candles on the wreath, one for each Sunday of Advent, anticipate the coming of the Light into the world growing ever brighter each week. On Christmas Eve, we light all four and the center one, announcing that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Light of the world has come!
Advent Resources for Families:
I have compiled a list of Advent Resources for those with children or grandchildren. Read some of my recommendations by clicking HERE.
Men’s Morning Study:
The men are meeting at Panera at Bridge Street on Tuesdays at 6 AM to study Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion. If interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an ongoing weekly bible study and fellowship at 5:30 PM Sunday evenings at the home of Jim and Sharon Daughtry. Email them to get involved.
Transportation for Jean Terry to Worship
Steve Terry’s treatment, which will take place in Arkansas, will be a long process – 42 weeks. So, we as a church body have the opportunity to serve this sweet family during the difficult road ahead. One way we can serve and bless them is to provide transportation for Jean Terry, Steve’s mom, to and from worship service. A link is provided to sign up if you are able to help in this manner. Please contact Kim Fohrell if you have questions about serving. Click HERE to volunteer to drive Ms. Jean to and from worship service.
Second Sunday Lunches:
Many of you remarked to me that you’ve only been able to come to one or two lunches because of forgetting or making other plans – well let me encourage you to mark your calendars! 😉
We plan to continue each 2nd Sunday of the month from January through May. The May lunch will most likely move to the 3rd Sunday because of Mother’s Day.
January 12 is the next one coming up. Please make plans to join us in the Fellowship Hall after worship. And please welcome visitors to stay and join us to eat!
***A word of thanks to all the MANY helpers who prep, set out tables, serve the meals, bring food or dessert or tea, and those who linger to clean up – THANK YOU for making these lunches a great success. It is a pleasure to work alongside you and serve the church body this way.
Sincerely in Christ,
Healing: Please pray for the health of the following individuals: Jacky Haynes, Steve Terry, John Baxter, Bill Cowley, Larrabee Kirkland, Chris Smotherman, Elizabeth Holton, Janet Chou, and Nolan Osmer.
Expecting: Please pray for the Brackins, expecting in March.
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).
general inquiries: email@example.com
benevolence needs: firstname.lastname@example.org
counsel and ministry needs: email@example.com
men’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
women’s ministry: email@example.com
children’s ministry: firstname.lastname@example.org
youth ministry: email@example.com
senior fellows: firstname.lastname@example.org
288 Old Highway 431
Owens Cross Roads, AL 35763