Services: SUNDAY: Sunday School – 10-10:45

                                   Worship – 11am to noon(ish)

                                  Evening Teaching Service – 4:45 pm (call)

WEDNESDAY: Praise Team – Wednesday 4:45 pm

                                AWANA – 5:50pm

Last Sunday of the month: Food Pantry Sunday

Call  for details — 989 662-4427

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

December 10, 2017

“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!” (Luke 1:30–33 NLT)
The Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of Heaven. Christ’s Kingdom. The Kingdom of Peace. Regardless of the name used to refer to God’s reign over all creation, it always refers to a kingdom that is everlasting, without end or beginning. It will not die of old age, it will not be destroyed, and there is no need for a line of succession or for the crown to be passed down from one generation to the next as if it is just another earthly kingdom.

This ruler, the Son of Man, has reigned since the beginning, and He will sit on the throne forevermore. Even when He came to earth as a baby born to a family of low status, His rule was not put on hold. The Son of Man, being God and therefore immutable, could no more lose His Kingship than He could stop loving us. This is good news, among the best news ever shared! Though everything around us, including our earthly bodies, be lost to fire, rot, and decay, we belong to a King and a Kingdom that will have no end. “His government and its peace will never end” (Isaiah 9:7).

 

December 9, 2017

Who has believed our message?

To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm?

My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot,

like a root in dry ground.

There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance,

nothing to attract us to him. (Isaiah 53: 1–2 NLT)
The southern portion of Israel includes the Negev, a desert that receives an average of 8 inches of rain a year in the least arid portions. In contrast, Edmonton, Alberta, receives an average of 19 inches of precipitation, and Los Angeles, California, averages 15 inches of rain. The Negev is a dry, harsh land that makes it difficult for life to take root. Imagine the joy of finding a tender shoot of a young plant sprouting in the midst of this environment. What joy it would bring!

This is who Jesus is to a world in need of salvation. He is the green shoot sprouting from dry ground, the wellspring in the desert, life coming from barren ground. Is it any wonder that the angel who visited the shepherds spoke of “good news that will bring great joy to all people” (Luke 2:10)? Join with the angels today in a song of joy because Jesus is the “root in dry ground” who brings salvation to the world.

 

December 8, 2017

I the LORD, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.

I will take you by the hand and guard you,

and I will give you to my people, Israel,

as a symbol of my covenant with them.

And you will be a light to guide the nations.

You will open the eyes of the blind.

You will free the captives from prison,

releasing those who sit in dark dungeons.” (Isaiah 42:6–7 NLT)
This prophecy of Isaiah speaks of God’s chosen servant, the chosen one of Israel who will receive the Spirit of the Lord and bring justice to the nations. His arrival is not a signal of a new covenant with Israel; rather, it’s a reminder and a fulfillment of the covenant from long ago where God promised Abraham that the people of the world would be blessed through his line.

The birth of the Christ was not an act unconnected from the rest of history. It was not as though the title of chapter one is “Immanuel” and everything before then is fit only for the prologue. His birth, life, teaching, death, resurrection, and ascension certainly brought a fuller meaning to the world, but this moment—the birth of the Savior of the world—was not the start of something new; it was the fulfillment of the promise, the continuation of all that God had already been doing—and continues to do—in this world.

 

December 7, 2017

But forget all that—

it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.

For I am about to do something new.

See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?

I will make a pathway through the wilderness.

I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:18–19 NLT)

God promised something new through His prophet Isaiah, yet the promises He makes about the deeds He will perform look remarkably like deeds He performed in the days of Moses. When the Israelites were making their way out of Egypt, the Lord led the way through a pillar of clouds by day and a pillar of fire by night, effectively making a path in the wilderness. When the nation of Israel was tormented by thirst in the desert, the Lord caused water to flow out of rock, providing water in a dry wasteland.

Yet if these deeds in Isaiah truly are new, God must be referring to something else. In this case He is referring to John, the cousin of Jesus—who was “a voice shouting in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the LORD’s coming!’”—and Jesus, who came with the gift of living water (Luke 3:4; John 4:10). The births of John and Jesus were among the first stones laid in the path toward this “something new.” This tells us that even though Jesus is the central figure in this new act—this new Kingdom that is also as old as time—God still very much desires to and will use others to announce the availability of this Kingdom to those who do not yet know of it.

How have you been announcing God’s Kingdom in the everyday reality of our world, and how can you further make your life a signpost pointing toward this Kingdom?