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December Series: Experience Christmas and Advent
November 30, 2019 - December 29, 2019
Join us each weekend in December – and Christmas Eve – as we walk through the Christmas story and see what we can learn as we all Experience Christmas and Advent together!
November 30 & December 1: Experience His Family
Story: The genealogy of Jesus
Scripture: Matthew 1:1-17
Theme: We can live secure in our identity in Christ.
Advent Action: This week, look for a way to help someone feel like they belong. Invite someone to lunch or coffee. Engage in conversation while you’re waiting in the check-out line. Call that family member who rarely attends a family gathering. Pray that the Lord will remind you of who you could include this week.
December 7&8: Experience His Presence *Prayer for healing
Story: Joseph learning of Jesus’ birth through a dream
Scripture: Matthew 1:18-25
Theme: We are never alone because God is with us.
Advent Action: God came to be with us! This week, practice being present with others. Put down your phone and truly listen when someone is talking to you. Play a game with your family rather than watch TV. Go for a winter walk with a friend. Ask the Lord to help you be more present wherever you are.
December 14&15: Experience His Plan *Communion
Story: Zechariah and Elizabeth playing out their part in the big plan of God
Scripture: Luke 1:5-25
Theme: When God is working out his big picture plan for the world, he asks each of us to play our part, and often it involves the desires of our heart.
Advent Action: God has given each of us a part to play in this world. Pray about what your part may be this week and then live that out. Is your part to serve someone else, to give a special gift? Is it to show kindnesss to someone who has been overlooked? Whatever you part may be, thank God for it and ask Him to show you each day the part you play in his great plan.
December 21&22: Experience His Miracles
Story: Mary being told by the angel Gabriel that she has been chosen to be the Mother of the Messiah
Scripture: Luke 1:26-56
Theme: A person open to being used of God will experience miracles.
Advent Action: Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel is stunning. After learning that her whole life would be turned upside-down, she simply says, “I am the Lord’s servant.” What is the Lord asking you to do in the days leading up to Christmas? Is it inviting someone to the Christmas Eve service with you? Taking food to a local shelter? Blessing a family in need with a gift card? Calling that friend or family member that you haven’t talked to in a while? Whatever it may be, do it joyfully and with the heart of a servant.
December 24: Experience The Manger *Christmas Eve (2/3:30/5/10:30p)
Story: Jesus’ birth and the sign to the shepherds that he was the Messiah
Scripture: Luke 2:1-20
Theme: The manger was a sign that God came to be with us and that God was about to change the world order.
Advent Action: As you celebrate Christmas, take some time to think about how the manger has changed your life. Tell someone the story of Jesus’ birth, but don’t stop there – tell them how Jesus’ birth was life-changing for you. If you haven’t experienced that life change yet, read Luke 2 and ask the Lord to open your heart to what He wants you to hear and understand.
December 29 (NO SATURDAY SERVICE): Experience The Resistance
Story: The Magi visit Herod and Jesus
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12
Theme: The response to the birth of Jesus by Herod illustrated the kind of resistance people have had toward Jesus from that day until today.
Advent Action: One evening this week, take a moment to step outside and look at the stars. Thank the Lord for sending His son, Jesus, and worship Him – in prayer, in song, in silence, whatever feels fitting in the moment. Then ask the Lord to reveal any resistance you may have that keeps you from fully embracing all He has for you.