Monday, December 23, 2013

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Memories seem to abound as we journey through Advent.  Bethlehem comes alive as we remember how God so loved the world that He gave His only Son for you.  

Our challenge this week is to remember how God's love came to you by the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.  May you never forget the depth of God's love for you!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Eve Services

All are invited to Bethany's Christmas Eve Services

December 24 at 7:00 p.m.  and at 11:00 p.m.

Come celebrate with us!  Both services will be candlelight services.

TAIM (Think About It Moment)

Believe it or not!  Christmas will soon be here and our celebration of Christ will continue throughout the coming year.  Yes, 2013 is about to open the door to all the uncertainties of the coming new year.  In the past few weeks I’ve been watching and listening as we celebrated Thanksgiving, and then embarked upon our journey through Advent.  The days, the weeks, the hours, seem to be passing by like an ice cube melting on a hot summer day.  Just where have those hot summer days gone?

Smiling, I ask that question in the reality of having to shovel all the snow on Sunday.  Watching the snow fall I had time to reflect upon some of the sights and sounds from the past few weeks.  There seems to be more manger scenes on display than in the years past.  A few of them have the Magi surrounding the cradle and offering their gifts to Jesus.  Should this be?  The understanding is that the Magi’s journey began after the birth of Jesus.

“After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem.”  Luke 2: 1 NIV

Some say that the baby Jesus is not to be part of the manger scene until Christmas Eve.  Pondering all this I walked into the church office and there on the top of the filing cabinet, waiting for Christmas Eve, were six mangers filled with straw.  Snuggled in the straw was baby Jesus.  They had been set aside, in an out of the way spot, waiting to become part of our Christmas celebration.  Waiting to be . . .
“And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”
Isaiah 9: 6b

Smiling, my thoughts brought forth this question.  How many of us will pack away the nativity; with the shepherds, donkey, sheep, shepherds, Magi, Mary, Joseph and even Jesus, after Christmas?  Placing them safely in a box.  Storing the box in a dark closet, out of sight and out of mind, until Advent begins in 2014.

After reading this many of you are saying, “What’s the point of all these words?”  It comes down to what’s important!  The question is this:  “Where will Jesus be in your life in 2014?”  Will Jesus truly be Immanuel, “God with YOU”, or will you place him on the shelf and look for him when you have a need?  Will Jesus be welcomed in your life every moment or just on special occassions? 

Think about it!  Have a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Magi Visited Bethany's Advent Luncheon

We had a special report from Bethlehem . . .

                       Zachary the roving reporter provided the questions!

                             Magi shared their wisdom!

They sang with such style!

Third Sunday of Advent

Finding Bethlehem has been our theme throughout our Advent Journey.  The third Sunday of Advent was filled with snow . . . sunshine . . . and a new challenge for this week.

Finding Bethlehem we discover the awesome power of God's love through Jesus.  Love that empowers us to love as God loves us.   Our challenge this week is to see the mighty presence of love working in the daily routine of life.  Then find ways to share that love with those around us!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Continues

The second Sunday of Advent brought us some snow and a challenge for the week . . . 

When we find Bethlehem we find the freedom Christ gives.  That freedom blossoms to life when Christ sets us free to love.  Our challenge through this week is to ponder how you might "step out" in freedom to serve God and your neighbor? 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Bazaar Begins

There are vivid colors everywhere!

Smiling faces and the wonderful smells of home cooking fill the room . . .

Monday, December 2, 2013

Advent Luncheon - Monday, December 2

Everyone enjoyed the luncheon as we began our walk of finding Bethlehem through Advent.  Today our roving reporter interviewed  Elizabeth.  

Advent 2013 Begins

On Sunday, December 1, we watched with anticipation, as the first candle of the Advent Wreath was lit.  Through this season we are encouraged to find Bethlehem.  That place in the midst of all the busyness of life that we experience that sacred, holy, glorious moment of Immanuel, "God with us".
The challenge for us this week is to identify one way you experience God's loving presence and support in your life!