Sunday, December 22nd
9:00 a.m. & 10:45 a.m.
5:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
What to expect
Join us on the Sunday before Christmas as we continue our Christmas Is Not series. Scroll down to learn more about what that’s all about. Uptown Kids and Fusion 127 Youth will be meeting as normal, so there’s something for the whole family!
Join us for Christmas Eve, and worship with our Worship Choir, hear a timely message from Pastor Brian Greenleaf, and end the service with candlelight singing. Nursery will be provided during the service.
What is Christmas to you?
Christmas can be a wonderful time of the year, full of hope, love, joy, and peace. But, Christmas for us doesn’t always look like that, especially when we let our culture define what Christmas is to us.
We see perfect selfies on Instagram of smiling faces and shining Christmas decorations – truly perfect! And we think this is what Christmas is, but we’re not photogenic, the kids won’t sit still long enough, and the house doesn’t look like a magazine. Then, the commercials on TV show a shiny Buick sitting in the driveway and kids’ faces lighting up with joy as they open the perfect, most expensive gift. But, who has money to buy a car for Christmas? Surely though, Christmas will at least be relaxing and peaceful as we sit by the tree enjoying the lights and music, but it’s hard to quiet the stress that invades in those moments – stress of broken family relationships, money issues, and job responsibilities bleeding over into family time. Then, before we know it, Christmas is over; decorations come down. The end of Christmas brings with it that slump that happens when all the things you were looking forward to are over.
Psychology Today reports that while the majority of people report feelings of happiness and joy over the holidays, they reported equal rises in fatigue, stress, and irritability. Fifty-three percent report a rise in stress due to financial reasons. Some of the other biggest causes of stress are the pressures of gift giving, lack of time, and family gatherings.
This can't be what Christmas is...
The good news is that Christmas is more than this. Christmas is not the perfect selfie. It’s not a Buick commercial, and it’s not a silent night. Most of all, Christmas is not the end.
Christmas is the beginning! It’s the beginning of the story of hope – a Savior who left Heaven to save us from the penalty of our sin, death. At Christmas, we finally know what true love is, as John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no man than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friend.” Here we find, not just happiness, but true joy – joy that lasts even on the noisiest, most chaotic Christmas. This is joy that cannot be let down or taken away.
How do you get this kind of joy? The Bible makes that pretty clear. Romans 10:9 says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
It’s as simple as this prayer:
Father, I know I’m a sinner, and I know that the penalty of that is death.
But, I believe that you sent your Son, Jesus, to die on the cross and take my place.
I believe that on the third day you raised Him back to life, and the debt of sin was paid.
Now, I want true joy and true life in You. Be Lord of my life today and every day.
If you’ve prayed this prayer for the first time, we’d love to meet you and and to welcome you personally into the family of God! Join us this Christmas, and feel free to grab someone at our service with a “How Can I Help You?” lanyard. We’d love to be able to answer any questions you might have.
This Christmas, it’s going to be different – better – because of Jesus!