1. This is the last week to order a student hymnal for your family. These are a wonderful devotional tool. Please be sure to sign up and pay if you would like one for your family.
2. Yesterday during our special Hanging of the Greens CE hour, children made "Advent sticks." These are color-coded popsicle sticks for each week of Advent. The idea is to put all the sticks in a jar at home and, during Advent, pull out 1 or 2 sticks each week and do the family project written on it. Each week focuses on a different aspect of Advent and the kids came up with their own family projects that they thought would fit the ideas discussed in class. Colors are as follows: Week 1: silver; Week 2: white: Week 3: blue; Week 4: gold
3. Advent devotional books will be available to pick up beginning this Sunday. Be sure to find the one with your family name and take it home to help guide us through Advent together as a Church family!
A THOUGHT FROM YESTERDAY'S SERMON
"Forgiveness leads to love." Pastor Brandon stated this yesterday as he taught us from the Gospel of Luke. But what exactly, you might wonder, does it mean?
In the story from chapter 7, we met 2 characters. The first was a Pharisee: an Israelite who had been taught all his life that God's promised rescue was meant for him. He knew people needed to be rescued but he failed to see that he too, not only others, needed God's rescue from sin. His own judgement of others was part of the problem from which the world needed to be set free. The second character was a woman who knew her sins were many. But she had faith that Jesus was the only one who could forgive all her sins and free her from a life of slavery to those sins. Because of the forgiveness she had received from Jesus, the woman had indeed been set free... to love! This is the thing the Pharisee missed -- that rescue FROM something is always deliverance TO something different. In Egypt, for instance the Israelites were slaves forced to work for the Pharaoh, but they were set free FROM that TO life in the land God had promised. In the case of sin, we are delivered FROM it and TO a life of love! We know we are living in the forgiveness of Jesus when we begin to love the people Jesus loves. What sins have held you as a slave? Anger? Selfishness? Judgement of others? Lying? If you have been forgiven (that means set free from slavery to the sins of your heart) how has love for the One who set you free taken their place? Are you living in love or in your sinfulness? Which do your parents, siblings, friends see?