It’s the most wonderful time of the year…with the kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer – I;s the most wonderful time of the year.  December is here & all the Joys of Christmas have arrived.  Could I borrow a line from the great Charlie Brown Christmas — “does anyone know what Christmas is all about?” 

Last Sunday evening I had the privilege to play Santa Clause for the Dream Factory at Stoney Creek Inn….dozens & dozens of children came into the room – and more than not – I would get around to asking them – “What does Christmas mean to you?”   The answer was varied – family getting together – big differs – presents – and several would tell how Jesus is the “reason for the season.”   

For a multiplicity of reasons – The last 2 weeks of December is everything but joyful? 

·      Our daughter’s friend whom she met in Haiti has 2 children & she & her husband just adopted a family of 3 foster children – at 34 years of age she died in  her sleep this week….

·      .For many people they don’t have the extra money to buy presents for their children, family, and friends.

·      Many are saddened at Christmastime when they think of their loved ones who will not be able to come home for various reasons. I’ll be home for Christmas but only in my dream….

Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child. 

Why did God send us His Son…..?  Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this dark, broken cruel hard world?  He came to DIE, this is the heart of CHRISTMAS…. We owed a debt we could  not pay – Jesus paid a debt He did now owe — Amazing Grace –Jesus paid a debt I, you, or us could never pay.   

The next 2 weeks can bring immense JOY in each heart – whether an illness has taken a loved one away – whether finances are tight – whether distance prevents family from being together- our JOY resides in only one thing – JOY IS THE ASSURANCE THAT GOD WILL NEVER LEAVE US…..

Family Movie Night

DECEMBER 15, 2017

Auditorium at Discovery

7:00 PM – Light Refreshments

       In light of our Advent series – The Redemption of Scrooge – I  hope showing the movie this week would bring back a lot of memories for you who have seen the movie – the stage play – or read the story…….a time to get together during the Christmas season is a blessing in itself…..hope you can enjoy this evening with us.

A couple things disrupted our schedule for prayer time – so we will gather this Sunday evening from 5 – 6 PM and join our hearts and spirits in prayer.  There are several things that see strange to me – i.e. reflective in church attendance – prayer gatherings – and church offerings —  but I have to understand we were not all wired the same – taught the same – and have the same priorities. 

In the late ‘80’s our youth minister said this…..nothing will happen before we pray – but miracles can happen after we pray.  This is your cordial invitation to gather with the body this Sunday evening to pray for the lost – the broken – the sick – and for the body of Christ in northeast Columbia.

            This weekend we will light the JOY candle —- Madison Duff will light the candle Saturday evening and Kaylee Faddis will light the Joy candle Sunday morning. 

We prepare this week by feeling the joy.  We move through this week feeling a part of the waiting world that rejoices because our longing has prepared us to believe the reign of God is close at hand.  And so we consciously ask: 

Prepare our hearts 
and remove the sadness 
that hinders us from feeling 
the joy and hope 
which his presence 
will bestow.

Each morning this week, in that brief moment we are becoming accustomed to, we want to light a third inner candle.  Three candles, going from expectation, to longing, to joy.  They represent our inner preparation, or inner perspective.  In this world of “conflict and division,” “greed and lust for power,” we begin each day this week with a sense of liberating joy.  Perhaps we can pause, breathe deeply and say, 

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,  my spirit rejoices in God my savior.”

 I would love to be a little birdie sitting in a tree above the Blessing Box – observing who and what each take from the Box…..this week every other day – the box is completely empty…..Therefore, I’m appealing to everyone to bring a half/dozen non-perishable items for the box….maybe during these Christmas Days – hard times are upon us – and many turn to Discovery’s Blessing Box for sustenance.   

                  Tuesday at our afternoon prayer time –we prayed that God would move upon hearts of those who use this food – to hunger and thirst for the Bread of Life and the Water of Life….thanks for your generosity regarding our Blessing Box.

·       Every worshippers will receive the message this weekend the Holy Spirits wants him/her to receive

·       Willie Baker came through the surgery on Wednesday fine – and was at his mother’s home early afternoon

·       Christ will be the centerpiece of our worship throughout this beautiful – where JOY abounds — where every LIGHT that shines at Christmas shouts hallelujah Christ is born

·       Those who take food from the blessing box will hunger for the true Bread of Life

·       All at Discovery will want those in our circle of influence to experience the joy of Christ and pray and seek opportunity to share that message with them

Our Financial Stewardship the weekend of December h10, 2017

General Fund                                                                           $1133.00

Mission (Turning Point – Homeless)                                 $     8.44

There is a church directory available for every one of you.  It will be on the Desk at the Welcome Center…..it contains all the contact information of every one at Discovery.  Please take one per family either as you enter or exit this weekend….

                  Thanks to Doug/Connie/Ross/Kevin for assembling all this information.

Our Celebration Message for the weekend of Christmas Eve – will be the Hope of Christmas Future — The message is DARK – but being honest Darkness followed Jesus throughout His ministry — The angel’s delivered their message to Joseph in a dream – assuming he was asleep — when Chris was crucified he Gospel Writers say the sun turned dark for 3 hours – when the ladies went to the tomb early in the morning on the 1st day of the week John 20:1 it was still dark….– Nicodemus came to Jesus under the cover of darkness….

                  In light of all this darkness – we are called to be the LIGHT OF THE WORLD – because light dispels the dark….may God bless us every one as we celebrate our own Redemption – and begin 2o18 – shinning the Light of Jesus Christ in the dark corner of Columbia – the Northeast…..