12/12/2014

Dear Emmanuel Family & Friends, 

A few words

The warm weather and melting snow are a welcomed change, but bring slush, slippery roads, slips, falls and accidents.  It is a reminder that life is filled with both blessings and trials, whether we are followers of Jesus or staunch atheists.  For those of us who have experienced the love and grace of Jesus, I want to encourage you to thank God for His blessings and remember that He is right beside us in our difficult times.  How we respond to both our blessings and troubles are clear reflections of what we truly believe.  

This Advent season, let’s focus on the One who Himself is the gift that should cause us to overflow with gratitude, worship and love.  Expressions of that worship include showing love and grace towards others.  Everything else this season is just decoration. 

After-Words

Isaiah 9:6-7 tells us that our Messiah is Emmanuel (God with us) and the Prince of Peace.  He came to a spiritually dark world that neither expected or welcomed Him.  He doesn’t come to drop off peace, as if it were one of the good things that He has for us.  Instead, the peace of God overflows from the presence of God in our lives.  When we allow Him to fill us through His Holy Spirit as we walk in intimacy with Him, He brings peace even in turmoil.  He rarely causes our problems to disappear, but always promises His presence to see us through even the fiercest of trials.  Welcome Him into your struggles and lack of direction.  As we worship Him for who He is, He gives us His peace that is beyond understanding.     

Fore-Words

This third Sunday of Advent, we will focus on the gift of joy that God brings through Jesus.  Brendon will be teaching from the 35th chapter of Isaiah, where God brings life and joy to people who have experienced the parched and arid desert wilderness.  Come expecting your joy to increase as we worship the One who exchanges our mourning and sorrow for everlasting joy. 

Your prayers for our worship this Sunday (both the morning and Connection services) are always deeply appreciated. 

Check out Christmas happenings (available in the church foyer) and invite friends, neighbours and family to one of our 3 Christmas Eve services (6:00 pm; 9:00 & 11:00 pm). 

Grateful that no one can take Christ out of Christmas,

Lou