Plans are in full swing for our Christmas Eve Service. Candles have been set aside, songs have been rehearsed, Scripture has been chosen, and messages have been prepared. We hope you will join us for a glorious evening to celebrate the coming of our Savior.
There is another reason we plan so much for this special evening. We envision Christmas Eve as an event for our friends and our community. We desire and expect many guests on Christmas Eve. That is why you can drive around our community and see yard signs brandishing our Christmas Eve logo, and why we invited several thousand households. In the past few years, many visitors from the community have responded to our invitation. So here is a final challenge. At the Christmas Eve service, take a look around--look for someone who is feeling their way around. Welcome them, ask them to sit with you, make them feel at home, and invite them back to church. Your small act of kindness could go a long way.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!
There will not be a morning service on Sunday, December 24. Please join us at 5pm or7pm on Christmas Eve. Childcare will be available for infants through age 5 at the 5pm service.
Christmas Eve Offering
On Christmas Eve, we will take up the normal tithes/offerings as well as a special offering to support the East Asia mission trip and the Whispering Oaks ministry. The special offering should be placed in the marked envelopes on the back of the pews. The offering plates will be passed just once.
This past week we lost a pillar of the faith, R.C. Sproul. As founder of Ligonier Ministries, his books and teachings on apologetics were instrumental in my own development. As you reflect on Jesus coming to the earth this Christmas season, renew in your heart the commitment to join Him in His ongoing, eternal mission.
Earlier in the year, Sproul wrote the following on the mission of the church.
The mission of the church is eternal. Its origin is in eternity and its destination is eternity. God’s plan of redemption for this fallen world was not an afterthought or an expression of a plan B. Rather, before the world was even created, in all eternity God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit had a covenant among themselves that we call the Covenant of Redemption.
It was God’s eternal design in eternity to manifest His plan of redemption and the creation of His church. The Father from eternity agreed to send the second person of the Trinity, the Son, into the world to accomplish this plan of redemption. Together, the Father and the Son agreed to send the Holy Spirit to apply the accomplished work of redemption to God’s people.
So the mission of the church begins with the mission of the second person of the Trinity. A mission involves a sending. The Father sends the Son into the world in order to effect God’s eternal plan of redemption. That mission is accomplished by the Son. As His mission was accomplished He commanded His people, those who believed in His name, to go into all the world, to proclaim the gospel to all people, that the Kingdom of God may be made known throughout the earth and throughout the ages. The mission of the church began with a mandate given to the church, by the One whose mission was to fulfill all things that the Father sent Him to do. So He said, “As the Father sent Me so send I you.” Looking backward we see that the mission of the church began in eternity with the agreement in the Godhead among the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and the end of that mission is made manifest in the eternal redemption that God’s people experience.
The Kingship of Christ is one that lasts forever. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and He shall reign forever and ever. In that eternal reign His church, that is made up of His people will join in His triumph and participate in His glory as the kingdom of Christ lasts forever. We see then that there is no end to the mission of the church other than its eternal destiny of salvation and glory. We need to understand that the mission of the church is not a temporary matter. It’s not a concern that merely began in Old Testament days and reached its conclusion at end of the old creation. It is a mission from the ages and unto the ages and for the ages. The church must understand that her mission is one that matters eternally. It is a mission that can never be regarded as being of secondary importance.
The seeking of the kingdom of God is the central business of the church. Our Lord commanded that we should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all other things will be added unto us. So there is no higher priority for the church then the making manifest and bearing witness to the Kingdom of our Savior. This is an eternal destiny with eternal consequences and is of eternal importance. Everything that the church does today and tomorrow matters and counts forever.