Brothers and sisters,
Happy Monday to all! It was great to be with all of you yesterday and worship our great God. We considered God’s greatness. We heard a wonderful new song from our worship team adapted from the Apostles Creed that helped us remember and understand the nature of the God who loves and saves us. Nate Ray preached a sermon from the life of Joseph, the husband of Mary and the step father of Jesus, reminding us that God’s dream for us is bigger than our dream for ourselves. Nate helped us see that in moments of conflict and confusion, God guides His children with words of clarity and direction. Nate helped us see that often our dreams for ourselves are idols that we look too to find life. He reminded us that we truly find our lives in Jesus so we need to make knowing Jesus our goal and not the fulfilment of our dreams. We deny ourselves and take up our cross and lose our lives to Jesus, and thus we find life. We follow Jesus and step out in faith to whatever and wherever God calls us. We don’t know the ending of where that might lead. But as we follow Jesus in faith, we do get to know the God who calls us to follow Him.
During the Christmas season, many people are more open to an invitation to worship and the truth of Jesus than at other times of the year. We are making special packets to give out to friends and neighbors inviting them to our Christmas Eve Service at 5:00 PM, December 24. These packets will contain an invitation to this service and a booklet by Lee Strobel called “The Case for Christmas.” These packets will be available beginning Sunday so plan on taking some to give out to people you know.
Ladies, remember you are invited to a Christmas Concert at the State Capitol next Sunday, December 2. The ladies will meet at the church building at 3:00 PM to attend the concert at 4:15 PM. Following the concert, the ladies will be going to Monty’s Blue Plate for supper. Here is a little more information about this concert.:
Capitol Annual Christmas Pageant! This pageant has been taking place in the capital every year for more than 75 years. Here is a description of it: It’s one of Madison’s best-kept (and no-cost) secrets – the Christmas Story sung through Christmas carols in 4-part harmony by local high-school choirs in the rotunda of the Madison Capitol building. (Emily Juhlin will be singing with these choirs as she is in the La Follette High School choir.) The lights are turned out and the Christmas Story is illuminated in live montages. Each performance lasts 45 minutes. There is limited seating but you can either stand or bring your own chair.
Enjoy God’s glorious presence and the awesome mystery of his birth being celebrated within our state capitol! It’s a wonderful way to quietly pause during the craziness of the season and enjoy the beauty of what Christmas is really about.
Remember to put on your calendar a Christmas tradition at East Madison, the Juhlin’s Annual Christmas open house. It is open to all on Friday night, December 14, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Directions to their house are available at the church building.
Love being your pastor!
Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church