Church News for Thursday, Dec. 20

Published 9:30 am Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bethany Baptist Church

We are enjoying singing our favorite Christmas hymns and preparing our hearts for the celebration of Christ’s birth.

Bro. Steve’s message this week was “Glory to God,” taken from Luke 2:8-18. When the host of angels appeared to the shepherds, their first message was announcing the birth of Christ and proclaiming, “Glory to God in the Highest,” then they declared peace on earth between our Holy God and us: There is no peace, except that found in Jesus Christ because of what he did for us on the cross. They declared good will toward men: Christ is the only one who comes and brings good will to men. God’s goodness was shown to mankind when he sent his only begotten son to die for our sins.

Sunday night, Bro. Steve brought a message titled “The Incarnation of Jesus,” using John 1:14 as his reference: God was manifest in the flesh and dwelt among men. Jesus Christ humbled himself and gave himself on the cross to redeem us from our sin. He imparts to us, in his grace, what we don’t deserve. Thank God he came!

On Sunday morning, our choir will present “Emanuel” at 11 a.m. Following Bro. Steve’s message, lunch will be served in our fellowship hall. Everyone is invited to attend.

Prayer list: Betty Biggs, James Bixler, Doris and Verdie Glenn, Hubert Griffin, Mildred Griffin, Laverne and Dick Hayes, Journey Mission in Calera, Ethel Kelly, Billie Neeley and Lillianna Thompson

See you Sunday!

Mars Hill Baptist Church

This is the Christmas season, a joyful time of the year when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is with a heavy heart that I prepare this message today. I am greiving with the rest of our nation for the loss of life sustained by the 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. on Friday, Dec. 14. These precious children did nothing wrong, they went to school, but evil entered their safe place that day, and these precious angels never returned to their mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, or to their earthly home. There are no adequate words to express our sense of loss and the sense of security that is gone, for what happened there can happen anywhere, even in our hometown. These angels are now safely in the arms of Jesus, never to see pain, tears, sorrow, or hurt again, yet we will never be the same. Pray, people, as you have never prayed before.

Bro. William Short read to us the Christmas story as told in Luke 2:1-14. He placed special emphasis on verse 7: “for there was no room for them in the inn.” Jesus came into this world the first time as a baby, the same as you and I. He had no hospital, no doctor, no nurse, only the cattle to see him born. There was no room for him during his birth into this world, and it would take many years for him to be accepted as the Lord of Lord and King of Kings, yet the world celebrates his birth every year. Even the self-proclaimed atheist celebrates. There would be no Christmas without Christ. We have more time for Santa Claus than we have for Christ. There is just no time to worship Jesus in spirit and truth, yet we have time for sports, shopping, parties, hunting and fishing, and most of that we do on the day set aside to worship because the rest of our week is spent in other activities.

Jesus came the first time as a baby born of a virgin, but he is coming again, and this time, with power and great glory. We see the signs all around us, the evil perpetrated by satan and his minions: senseless slaughter, wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, parents killing their children and children killing their parents. Where, you might ask, is God? He is still here, on his throne, but we have left him. We asked him to leave our schools and he did. We asked him to leave our homes and he did. We asked him to leave our government and he did. We have no one to blame except ourselves. Jesus is coming again, and the end is near. When is the end coming? The Bible tells us that only God knows the day and the hour. Not even the angels in heaven know when it will be, but you can look around and know that it is soon. It could even be today. Are you ready?

Is there room for Jesus in the end? He is standing at your heart’s door, knocking and requesting entrance into your life today? All you have to do is open that door and invite him in. You can celebrate Jesus this year; he is the only reason for this season. We are all God’s children, created in his image, yet there is no room for him in the inn of our heart. Only you can change that; only you can ask him inside to dwell with you forever. Will you do that today?

Please pray for our church, the lost, the hurting, the sick, our troops, our government and our country. God is great, all the time. Amen.