Did you miss the “Invitation to a Miracle” cantata?  You can view it on YouTube!
Won’t you join us as we begin this Advent season?  
Let’s unwrap the gifts that were given to us so long ago.
 
The sermon series began Sunday, December 3
 
√ First Sunday: Expectation
√ Second Sunday: Understanding
Third Sunday: Faith
Fourth Sunday: Light
Christmas Eve: Gifts:Wanted or Needed
December 31: Re-gifitng
 
Reflect on:  For me it is impossible to ________________________.
 
Memory Verse:
Nothing is impossible for God.  
                                              Luke 1:37     
 
 
Sunday  Luke 1:21-25
Monday  Luke 1:26-28
Tuesday  Luke 1:29-33
Wednesday  Luke 1:34-39
Thursday  Luke 1:39-41
Friday  Luke 1:42-45
Saturday  Luke 1:46-50
 
 
Advent Devotional 
 December 11, 2017

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. When Mary, his mother was engaged to Joseph, before they were married, she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband was a righteous man. Because he didn’t want to humiliate her, he decided to call off their engagement quietly. As he was thinking about this, an angel from the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child she carries was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you will call him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins…
When Joseph woke up, he did just as an angel from God commanded and took Mary as his wife. But he didn’t have sexual relations with her until she gave birth to a son. Joseph called him Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-21. 24-25 (CEB)

Joseph was instructed by the angel to name his son Jesus, because this child would save people from their sins. This past Sunday at the Modern service (a.k.a. early service, a.k.a. 8:30 service, a.k.a. First service) I had the opportunity to try and explain to the children what the name Jesus (a.k.a. God’s Son, a.k.a. Emmanuel, a.k.a. Prince of Peace) means. The name Jesus means, “God saves.” Fortunately for me, my helper King (a Lion puppet that calls everyone George, a.k.a. George, a.k.a. George) came up with a good explanation. He said that “God saves” can also mean “keep.” He told the children how God keeps us as God’s children.

Jesus has come to save people from their sins. As King so thoughtfully pointed out, we can also think of the name Jesus as meaning “God keeps.” Jesus came to keep people from sinning. Jesus came to keep us from sinning. That is not something I can do on my own. Thankfully, Jesus has come to help us not sin and to forgive us when we do sin.

Let me share with you a story.

A MOTHER WAS BUSY GETTING READY FOR CHRISTMAS—COOKING, CLEANING, SHOPPING, WRAPPING PRESENTS AND DECORATING. SHE WAS SO WRAPPED UP IN IT ALL THAT SHE WAS GETTING A BIT STRESSED OUT. [MAYBE SOME OF YOU CAN RELATE TO THAT]. SHE WAS GETTING STRESSED AND IRRITABLE. HER DAUGHTER, ALL CAUGHT UP IN THE EXCITEMENT [OF THE SEASON] WAS MISBEHAVING. [SHE WAS AS WE WOULD SAY, “HYPER.”] FINALLY THE POOR MOTHER HAD ALL SHE COULD TAKE AND LOST HER TEMPER, SENDING HER DAUGHTER TO HER ROOM, YELLING AT HER TO STAY IN THERE AND NOT COME OUT. AFTER A WHILE, THE MOTHER STARTED REGRETTING HER HARSHNESS WITH HER DAUGHTER. SHE WENT TO THE DOOR OF HER DAUGHTER’S ROOM, CRACKED IT OPEN AND HEARD HER DAUGHTER PRAYING THIS PRAYER, “AND FORGIVE US OUR CHRISTMASES, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO CHRISTMAS AGAINST US.”
THAT IS A PRAYER YOU & I MAY NEED TO PRAY RIGHT NOW. ‘GOD FORGIVE ME FOR IGNORING THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. FORGIVE ME FOR THINKING THAT IT IS FOUND IN ALL THE OUTWARD TRAPPINGS OF THE HOLIDAY, ALL THE ROUTINES, ALL THE BUSYNESS, ALL THE SCHEDULES. HELP ME TO SEE THAT THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IS FOUND IN YOU BREAKING INTO THIS WORLD IN JESUS CHRIST AND BREAK INTO MY LIFE TO DO SOMETHING NEW. (Mike Coppersmith, We Interrupt This Christmas. Preaching Magazine, Dec 2006).

Jesus has come to keep us from sinning!

Pastor Jeff

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Belton First
United Methodist Church  
 
 
 
 
Creating God’s community through Christ’s boundless grace!
205 E. Third Ave.
Belton, TX  76513

(corner of East St. & 3rd Ave.)

254-939-5703
 
Sunday Service Times:
 
8:30 – Modern
9:30 – Sunday School
10:45 – Traditions
 
 
 
 
The 10:45 Sunday service has a sign language interpreter.