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Glimpses of Grace

“God said to name this baby boy, Jesus.  I said ‘Yes! May God do as he pleases. For I am his servant, and I will obey so God can use me in this special way.'”
I found this on a little slip of paper laying on the floor in the front of the sanctuary. It was a copy of one of the lines of “Mary” – Lucy Scrima –  in the nativity skit presented at “Breakfast at the Manger with Santa” on Saturday. Around 200 people were there – children and parents and extended families. They were fed a pancake breakfast, witnessed the Nativity skit presented by Bethany children, were enthralled with the entrance of Santa, and moved by the testimony of Santa that “Jesus is the reason for the season…” Then they had the opportunity to meet one on one with Santa and receive a gift that pointed them to the message of the Christ child. The faces of the children and the parents were glowing when they left.
The next day the children re-presented their skit at the 10:45 am service, and did it with even more confidence and personality. Worshipers at both morning services witnessed a riveting skit with “Mary and Joseph” (high schoolers Devin Underwood and Lena Werner) which introduced the sermon. The message was on the faithful obedience of Joseph as he took Mary as his wife and Jesus as his son…even though he was not the father by birth. “When your world is shattering, God is shaping – shaping you into his servant and the broken pieces into his good and merciful purpose.” That is how I described the message of Christmas through the experience of Joseph in the Gospel of Matthew. After church, as I picked up my sermon notes, I found that little slip of paper from the children’s skit, a reminder of Mary’s faithful obedience, too!
This Sunday I will be reprising a message I did several years ago, “Break-in on Christmas Eve”.  What do we do with the disruptions, upheavals, and general messiness in our lives and world in this season of the year? Could these be holy moments and opportunities? Devin and Lena will be helping again as I – and we all – experience,  ” Break-in on Christmas Eve.”
The Sunday School singers will be singing and the Bridgeville Brass will be playing at the 10:45 am service!
You cannot come on Sunday morning? Or you cannot get enough of Jesus and his good news? Come Sunday evening at 6 for our Modern Service. Pastor Melany will preach and tell a family story that will remind us all to receive the grace we don’t deserve.
Below you will see the times of the Christmas Eve Services.
And remember, all of this is so that we can join Mary and Joseph at the manger, discover the gift of our Savior and be his joyful and faithful servants.
See you on Sunday,
John Hamilton
Christmas Eve
Saturday, December 24, 2016
 4:00 PM Family Service
A service that focuses on children and families on this holy night.
8:00 PM Traditional Candlelight Service
Traditional Message and Carols
 
10:00 PM Candlelight Service
With Holy Communion
A meditative service of lessons and carols,  the Sacrament of Communion and special music.
Christmas Day
December 25, 2016
10:00 AM Service only

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