Discover the Wonder of Christmas - The wonder of a baby!
Welcome by John Chilcote / Worship Part #1 – 3 songs
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
O Come All Ye Faithful / O Little Town of Bethlehem
Message Part #1 – Greg Bondurant
I have been to Bethlehem. It’s still a little town where shepherds guide their flocks at night. However times have changed. Bethlehem now has modern conveniences like roads, traffic lights and this coffee shop. Not Starbucks but Stars&Bucks! My name is Greg Bondurant and I welcome you to this Christmas Eve Service! May I say from my family to yours - Merry Christmas! I have a quick story, a favor and a question for you tonight! First, the story. Aaron Collins died last July. He was 30 years old. His parents described him as generous - a person who “loved experiences and not possessions.” Aaron’s last request was to leave an awesome tip for a waiter or waitress. He said, “I don’t mean 25%. I mean $500.” His family formed Aaron Collin’s Last Wish and has now raised some $62,000 to give away $500 at a time.[i] Wouldn’t a $500 tip blow your mind? Here’s my favor! I have a pizza delivery guy coming in 10 minutes. I want to BLESS him/her with a BIG tip. I have $20 to start. $10 for the pizza and $10 for the tip. Would anyone give me a little more cash to make this tip crazy good? THANKS! Now here’s my question! What makes you wonder? Wonder has several meanings.[ii] One is “to doubt.” It’s “Hmmm, I’m not sure!” “I wonder if my flight will be on time? I wonder if my car will start? I wonder if the Browns will ever be good?” Raise your hand if you are a child. Are you wondering how many presents you are going to get tonight or tomorrow morning? I guess it depends if you’re on the naughty or nice list! Look over at your Mom or Dad with puppy dog eyes and say, I’m on the nice list, right?” It might be best just to admit reality and say, “I know I’m on the naughty list! I’m just hoping for a little grace!”
Wonder also means “to be filled with admiration, amazement or awe!” Now there are the seven, eight or nine wonders of the world. The list just keeps growing. Those “wonders” are primarily architectural and sculptural achievements one being the Pyramids of Giza.[iii] Those are staggering but for me personally I was amazed when I saw the Lincoln Memorial Statue. If you ever get to go to D.C don’t miss the sheer magnitude of the Lincoln Memorial!
Statues often amaze us. People amaze God. Is our pizza delivery person here yet? Would you come up here? I know this is highly unusual, but I’m hungry. I’ve been talking about wonder. Wonder means to be filled with awe or amazement. That being said. We wanted to show you our appreciation. Here’s $10 for the pizza and here’s a $65 tip! Isn’t that amazing? So is this. Let’s read from Luke 2, but before we do remember, this is a Family Worship Service. If you are a child I want you to watch for three words as we read the scriptures. The words are angel, baby and shepherd. When we read ANGEL say (AWWW!) When we read BABY say (AWE) When you read SHEPHERD say (BAA) Let’s all read this together from the screen. Read Luke 2:8-12. Let’s stand and worship this baby!
Worship Part #2 - (2 songs)
Away in a Manger /What Child is This
For King and Country Baby Boy Video
Message Part #2 – Greg Bondurant
What makes you wonder? I wonder at stars, especially the star which led the Magi to the baby. So do trees, but especially the tree which Jesus hung on to die. Generous people make me wonder. The shepherds were in awe of the angel Gabriel and Gabriel was in awe of the baby! Look at this picture! This is my nephew Greyson. His Dad is holding him in his hand! You have to admit – a baby creates wonder! Look at these little ones! (Funny Baby Images) Two of the most defining moments of my life were the births of my daughter Jeanna and my son Sam. To sit in a chair holding them, watching them sleep filled me with awe & amazement.
Wonder also means “to think; to speculate curiously.” I still wonder what happened to JonBenet Ramsey. She died the day after Christmas 1996. She would have turned 22 this year.[iv] I also wonder what God was thinking when he sent a baby to do what only He could do! Let’s keep reading from Luke 2. Kids, what are our three code words - angel, baby and shepherd. (Read from the screen verses 13-14! Stand with me and let’s worship like the angels did!
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Message Part #3 – Greg Bondurant
I’m still wondering why God sent a baby! Luke tells us. Verses 15-17. Did you notice verse 15? The angels leave earth and go back to heaven. Isn’t that a switch? God leaves heaven to come to earth! Again, WHY? Read again verses 16-17. The shepherds SEE Jesus. Better yet. They SEE God. Do you remember the Garden of Eden? Adam and Eve walked with God. They saw God. They were in his presence. But sin changed everything. Sin created death and death in any language means separation. God separated them from his presence. We sinners cannot be in the presence of a holy God. If I were running the universe I would scroll back the sky and say, “HELLO!” But that would only produce fear! If angels scare the “begeebers” out of people what would a holy God do? So God sent Jesus as a baby! And at that moment the world changed. GOD IS WITH US!
What is the point of Christmas? FOUR words. GOD IS WITH US! We can be in his presence. When we get up in the morning. GOD IS WITH US! When we go to work or school. GOD IS WITH US! But it gets even better! Wonder also means “Something extraordinarily good.” And what’s extra good is that GOD sent Jesus to be with you! It’s more than GOD IS WITH US – It’s GOD IS WITH YOU! Do you know him? Your whole world can change tonight if you’ll realize that GOD IS WITH YOU and wants to live through you so we become his light in this world. There is a candle next to you. Let me start and let’s watch the light of God’s love spread throughout this room and the whole world. Silent Night / Candle Lighting
Pizza Hut 794-9602
Open until 5pm on Christmas Eve
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Open until 7pm
Jets Pizza 882-5387
Open until 8pm on Christmas Eve
Open until 10pm on Christmas Eve