WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 21ST —
• Advent Bible Study at 2 P.M. in Casey U.M.C.
“What I Want for Christmas.”This is the Longest Night of the year.
• • • There will be a Blue Christmas Service —in Adair U.M.C. at 7 P.M. Everyone is welcome,
but it is directed toward anyone who has
experienced intense loss this year. It can be in
the realm of death, severe illness, family
disagreements, job security, or some entirely
different adjustment. Many transformations in
life can shake us to our very foundations, and
cause a sweeping change in our sense of well
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22ND —
• Advent Bible Study at 7 P.M. in Adair U.M.C.
“What I Want for Christmas.”≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈≈
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 23RD —
A-C School's Winter Break begins today.Don't forget to go back to school January 3rd!
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 24TH —
CHRISTMAS EVE ———
Adair U.M.C. at 5 P.M.
Casey U.M.C. at 9 P.M.
Communion in both churches.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 25TH —
COLOR: WHITE OR GOLD
Regular services at both churchesSCRIPTURE READINGS:
These specific readings for Christmas Day have
a history that stretches far back into Christian
history, at least to the seventh century in the
West. Isaiah calls the ruins of Jerusalem to give
thanks for the coming of the Lord because
God's people are returning to their homeland to
rebuild them. Those of you who live in or near
places of devastation - - by floods, earthquakes,
hurricanes, tornadoes, fires or other means- -
know what it is like to see the ruins around you
and know the people are gone. Isaiah announces
the return of the LORD to Jerusalem, a sign of
the end of exile. "All the ends of the earth shall
see God's salvation."
Restoring destroyed communities is certainly
familiar to our contemporary world. Today we
have our own experience, whether the coasts of
the Gulf of Mexico, the floodplains of our Upper
Midwest and Thailand, the regions of Haiti,
territories in Japan devastated by tsunami, the
wildfires in Texas, the rice fields of Burma, the
ruins from long wars and strife in Afghanistan,
Iraq, and Palestine . . . or economic collapses
continuing to drive millions of people around
the world into unemployment. It is all mind
numbing devastation for the people forced to
experience it. Sweeping change from a sense
of well being.
7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the
messenger bringing good news, Breaking the news
that all's well, proclaiming good times, announcing
salvation, telling Zion, "Your God reigns!"
8 Voices! Listen! Your scouts are shouting,
thunderclap shouts, shouting in joyful unison. They
see with their own eyes God coming back to Zion.
9 Break into song! Boom it out, ruins of Jerusalem:
"God has comforted his people! He's redeemed
10 God has rolled up his sleeves. All the nations
can see his holy, muscled arm. Everyone, from
one end of the earth to the other, sees him at work,
doing his salvation work.
PSALM 98 (UMH 818)
A song of praise for God's intervention to save
God's people. "For the Lord comes to judge the
nations with righteousness, and the peoples
1 Sing to God a brand-new song. He's made a
world of wonders! He rolled up his sleeves, He set
2 God made history with salvation, He showed the
world what he could do.
3 He remembered to love us, a bonus To his dear
family, Israel - indefatigable love. The whole earth
comes to attention. Look - God's work of salvation!
4 Shout your praises to God, everybody! Let loose
and sing! Strike up the band!
5 Round up an orchestra to play for God, Add on a
6 Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air
with praises to King God.
7 Let the sea and its fish give a round of applause,
With everything living on earth joining in.
8 Let ocean breakers call out, "Encore!" And
mountains harmonize the finale -
9 A tribute to God when he comes, When he comes
to set the earth right. He'll straighten out the whole
world, He'll put the world right, and everyone in it.
HEBREWS 1:1-4; 5-12
The full text of Hebrews speaks at some length
about Jesus being the imprint of God's
"ultimate essence" (hypostasis, in Greek) and
far superior to angels. In Jesus, God has given
us no mere angel or messenger, but "the
radiance of God's glory and the exact imprint
of God's very being. Look at all the clothing
references in Hebrews, and see how you might
elaborate on these in your worship space as
well. The images here are not at all those of a
helpless baby, but of a powerful and
1 Going through a long line of prophets, God has
been addressing our ancestors in different ways
2 Recently he spoke to us directly through his Son.
By his Son, God created the world in the beginning,
and it will all belong to the Son at the end.
3 This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped
with God's nature. He holds everything together
by what he says - powerful words! The Son Is
Higher than Angels
4 far higher than any angel in rank and rule.
HEBREWS 1:5-12 (The Message)
5 Did God ever say to an angel, "You're my
Son; today I celebrate you"? Or, "I'm his
Father, he's my Son"?
6 When he presents his honored Son to the
world, he says, "All angels must worship him."
7 Regarding angels he says, The messengers are
winds, the servants are tongues of fire.
8 But he says to the Son, You're God, and on the
throne for good; your rule makes everything right.
9 You love it when things are right; you hate it
when things are wrong. That is why God, your God,
poured fragrant oil on your head, Marking you out
as king, far above your dear companions.
10 And again to the Son, You, Master, started it all,
laid earth's foundations, then
crafted the stars in the sky.
11 Earth and sky will wear out, but not you; they
become threadbare like an old coat;
12 You'll fold them up like a worn-out cloak, and
lay them away on the shelf. But you'll stay the
same, year after year; you'll never fade, you'll
never wear out.
John provides the heart of the good news for
today - - that the Word of God was God from
the beginning and the Word became flesh and
dwelt (pitched a tent) among us in the person
of Jesus. Light shining in the face of darkness,
and though appearing to fade for a time, not
overcome, but transformed from one light
(the sun) to billions of lights
(the moon, planets and stars)1 The Word was first, the Word present to God,
God present to the Word. The Word was God,
2 in readiness for God from day one.
3 Everything was created through him; nothing -
not one thing! - came into being without him.
4 What came into existence was Life, and the
Life was Light to live by.
5 The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the
darkness couldn't put it out.
6 There once was a man, his name John, sent by
7 to point out the way to the Life-Light. He came
to show everyone where to look, who to believe in.
8 John was not himself the Light; he was there to
show the way to the Light.
9 The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person
entering Life he brings into Light.
10 He was in the world, the world was there
through him, and yet the world didn't even notice.
11 He came to his own people, but they
didn't want him.
12 But whoever did want him, who believed he was
who he claimed and would do what he said, He
made to be their true selves, their child-of-God
13 These are the God-begotten, not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten, not sex-begotten.
14 The Word became flesh and blood, and moved
into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our
own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like
Son, Generous inside and out,
true from start to finish.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 26TH —
Pastor Bob's and Naomi's day off.
Office Closed today.
Naomi will be in and out of the office all week
so please call before making a trip there.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 31ST —
New Years Eve - Remember, if you fly too high,
your wings might melt.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 1, 2012 — HAPPY NEW YEAR!The U.S. Government offers a list of the most
• Drink Less Alcohol
• Get a Better Education
• Get a Better Job
• Get Fit
• Lose Weight
• Manage Debt
• Manage Stress
• Quit Smoking
• Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
• Save Money
• Take a Trip
• Volunteer to Help Others
I don't see a clinker in the bunch.
FUTURE FOCUS —
SATURDAY, JANUARY 7th —
Behavioral Covenant Workshop at
CASEY UMC - 9:30AM-NOON
God Bless and Keep You,