Christmas Eve is a special time. I love how society shuts down and people are abounding with anticipation for what is to come. With traditions of many kinds, some look forward to family gatherings, some eagerly await the giving of gifts, and others just enjoy a break from their often relentless and sometimes burdensome schedules.
Whatever you long for, know this;
There is a family for you to gather with – the church,
there is a gift worthy of our anticipation – eternal life,
and there is One who can give you true rest – Jesus Christ.
As for traditions, our family has come to love spending Christmas eve with our Church family. All of our kids love coming dressed in their PJs. We love being able to worship together, and it is always a blessing to get a new perspective of what people may have been thinking that night by listening to one of Bro. Mike's dramatic Monologues.
My Family's prayer is that your family could join us at St. Andrew Baptist Church as we celebrate the promise of God delivered through the birth of Jesus at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. It’s the perfect way to center your heart by remembering the miracle of our Savior’s birth through song, a biblical character monologue, and of course the glow of our candlelight tradition.
Mark your calendar for Christmas Eve from 5-6pm in the sanctuary. This event is for the whole family, the whole church, and the whole community. Come celebrate Christmas with us!
A few weeks ago, our 4th Graders held a bake sale after church to raise money for missions efforts accross the world. They made the food themselves (with some possible parental supervision), and manned the tables themselves.
A few nights ago, having recieved the money from those purchasing goods, I went onto the Samaritan's Purse website and ordered my 4th grade Sunday school kids' "shopping list" of items they chose to buy with their missions bake sale money. They bought a cow/ox for a farmer. They paid for a child's entire cleft palate surgery. They donated food, clothes, shoes and blankets to refugee families and those affected by natural disasters. They contributed to children's literacy programs, bought hot meals for a child in a school/orphanage, and provided a week's worth of life-saving nutrition to 4 starving babies. They gave a family a household water filter system and chipped in to a village's clean-water project. They provided soccer balls and sports equipment for evangelistic athletic programs, donated money to help a child receive heart surgery, helped renovate a mission hospital, provided Bibles and Christian literature to churches and paid the postage on 4 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes whose donors couldn't afford to. Last but not least, 3 rural families somewhere in the world will be getting flocks of baby chicks. And in all these projects, the Gospel will be shared.
2,000 years ago, Jesus fed a multitude with 5 loaves and 2 fish that a boy was willing to give. Our kids had a table of brownies and cupcakes to give...and a multitude of people around the world will be blessed by their work and the generosity of our SABC family. $1,100 total!!!
- Nicole Sellers
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one.“”
John 10:27-30 NASB
In Chapter 10, John relates what Jesus said about Himself and about His followers. He said that He was the Good Shepherd, The Door, and when asked confirmed that He was the Christ and that He and the Father were one. He left little to the imagination in this chapter.
He also left little to the imagination when it came to His followers.
MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE - I know my wife's voice well because I've spent time with her. I've been with her when she's been happy, sad, mad and scared. I know her voice when she is stressed and when she is not. You get the point - spend time in The Word so that you'll know when The Lord is speaking to you.
AND I KNOW THEM - I think that this speaks to a relationship, don't you? A real sheep doesn't just know about the Good Shepherd, he knows Him and the Good Shepherd, in return, knows the sheep. This intimate relationship begins when one makes Jesus Lord of his life and chooses to believe that He is the Christ.
AND THEY FOLLOW ME - a characteristic of Jesus' sheep is that they follow Him. They obey His commands. They are doing what He has commanded in The Word. There should be spiritual fruit that clearly indicates that you are His.
AND I GIVE ETERNAL LIFE TO THEM, AND THEY WILL NEVER PERISH AND NO ONE WILL SNATCH THEM OUT OF MY HAND - the benefits of being His sheep are eternal life and unending security.
These benefits are ones that we want our family and friends to participate in and cause us to go to great lengths to see that they have opportunity to hear and respond to the gospel.
Sheep who Shepherd: