Saturday – December 25, 2010

The Word Among Us
Read: John 1:14

As we come to the end of this journey, and to the celebration of Emmanuel, God with us, I think back on the people who have given of themselves to write here. Each has, in their own way, embodied the Word dwelling among us. Each time the calendar rolls around to this date, we celebrate it, even buried under mounds of discarded wrapping; we know Christ’s there. Besides, it’s his birthday, not mine.

Reading through each entry I am more in love with my God and my church than ever, and I thank God for speaking to Fredericktown, and this pastor, through this congregation. Christ has certainly come to live among us, and some times we even let him shine through who we “usually” are.

This world needs a Christ, a Messiah, who will make sense out of our chaotic, self-absorbed, power driven lives. May the Jesus of the manger, and the Christ of our hearts, heal your broken places, dance in all your joys, and give you the voice to share it all with others.

Prayer: Lord, for all the times you break into my life, thank you. Amen

Rick Lasley
Friday – December 24, 2010

Making Room for the Christ Child

Read: Luke 2:6-7

Christmas has always been a special time for me because of my grandmother. She ran an old fashion country store that was more or less the meeting place for the town. Once Thanksgiving dinner was over we started getting ready for Christmas. First the decorations, then planning for all the “goodies” to be made and anticipating all the calls, cards and visits from family and friends that soon would be coming. Practice for the church Christmas program would begin. Finally, Christmas Eve would arrive and it was time to go to church. As a child I think I thought baby Jesus would really be there.

After our children were grown and married our oldest son and daughter-in-law were expecting their first born just a few days before Christmas. All the preparations at home and the hospital had been made and we anxiously anticipated the blessed event. At that moment I wondered what Mary might have been thinking. It was then I realized it didn’t really matter if it was a hospital or manger because all we needed was our faith. Modern day or long ago, it was all in God’s hands.

Prayer: Dear Lord, regardless of the events in our lives that may require us to wait and wonder, we always know we have you to bring peace of mind and comfort to us. Amen

Nancy Basden
Thursday – December 23, 2010

The Kingdom of God Belongs to Such As These
Read: Matthew 19:13-15

Christmas is a great season especially for children. They can’t wait for the day to come. The innocence, the sense of anticipation, and the total trust that Santa will remember them and leave a reward for being a good boy or girl; their excitement is contagious. Maybe that is something we as adults need to learn.

Jesus knew His father wanted that same excitement and anticipation from His Children. But Jesus also knew how skeptical and cynical we can be when we grow up and become adults. If only we could turn back the clock and have that childlike wonder that we see in our children and grandchildren on Christmas morning. What a great gift that would be to our Father this Christmas.

Prayer: Lord grant me a renewed enthusiasm this Christmas for your kingdom. Help me to understand what a glorious gift you gave the world with your birth so long ago. And give me a new appreciation for your grace and unconditional love. Amen

Dennis Siders
Wednesday – December 22, 2010

God Can Do Amazing Things with One Child

Read: Genesis 18:10-13

Sarah laughed when she learned that God’s promise to Abraham would be fulfilled within the year. She laughed in disbelief that it was possible after her child bearing years were over that she would conceive and bear a child. But conceive she did and that one child, Isaac, was a promise (covenant) fulfilled that Abraham’s descendants would be a great nation. Three major religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam – trace their lineage back to Abraham. The first two celebrate the lineage through Isaac. God did an amazing thing with one child!

In the birth of Jesus God did an amazing thing with one child. In the life, death and resurrection of Jesus a new covenant was established. When we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, God promises to do amazing things with one child – each one of us. That means that we, you and I, need to be attentive to the amazing things God is doing. Where are you experiencing God in your life? What amazing thing is God doing in and through you?

Prayer: Dear God, I am your child. Please do amazing things in and through me. Amen

David Norbury
Tuesday – December 21, 2010

Jesus is the Only Way to Know God as “Abba”
Read: John 14:6-7

Growing up in a rural Colorado area as a small child into a teenager, I could hear my mother pray at bedtime “Abba” Father and then the Lord’s Prayer. There was nowhere for her to turn to except through prayer. Our lives were threatened often. I would hide under the covers at night and cling to my small Bible praying that Jesus could help us out of our situation.

On weekends I was fortunate to stay with grandmother and attend Sunday School and church in the city. In my mind only Jesus could help us and as it turned out the way to God is only through Jesus because he is both God and man. Trust Jesus to take you to the Father and all the benefits of being God’s child will be yours.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for your teachings. Amen

Colleen Metcalf
Monday – December 20, 2010

Regardless of Age, God Equips Us
Read: Jeremiah 1:4-9

As I write this Advent devotional, I see out my window the glorious foliage of an Oct. day. My thoughts on the scripture are "colored" by God's gift of a beautiful world. Leaves begin small, tender and green; just as Jeremiah says God formed and set us humans apart in the womb, as his special part of creation. I like to believe we are much like leaves. Gradually, as our lives unfold, they are filled with the world and its daily demands. We add play, work, family; just some of the many worldly things that fill our busy lives. Yet, sometimes hidden, we also add growth, the kind that completes us as God intends us to be, as he created us to be. Like the leaves I see, loosing that green chlorophyll stored up over their brief life, and now revealing the marvelous colors within, I hope to have finally revealed those God-like qualities I am working hard to gain. Perhaps we can all feel "God with us", "Not be afraid", and "know that God will rescue us from this world", as Jeremiah writes. It may take a lifetime of Bible study, prayer, the strengthening of faith by the company of a shared church worship, to reveal God's true beauty within us, but like October's leaves, let us strive for that revelation.

Prayer: God, we know you do equip us for each and every day's challenges. Help us to be revealed as images of you at work in your world. Amen

Sharon Robbins
Sunday – December 19, 2010

The Josephs Among Us; Builders & Workers
Read: Luke 2:1-4

Have you ever done a great job and nobody noticed or cared? This has probably happened to all of us. It takes a lot of “Josephs” to get the work done in our life, home, and church. Joseph quietly took full responsibility for Mary. He raised Jesus into adulthood and received very little recognition.

On Sunday Morning October 31st I walked into the fellowship hall and gazed upon a buffet of delicious breakfast foods and scary Halloween treats like fingers with long red nails! I saw clowns, butterflies, spiders and angels. I saw young and old laughing and having a delightful time.

During worship service I enjoyed a creative display of ghoulish fun, inspirational music and a wonderful sermon on “The Masks We Wear.” I am so thankful for all the helpers in our church. They are the “Josephs”, who are behind the scenes making sure everything gets done, handling difficult situations and not always getting the recognition they deserve.

Prayer: Dear God, I pray that your Spirit will speak to all the members in our church, to help them live passionately and do the work you call them to do. Amen

Leslie Goodman