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Sunday service times are now at 9:00am

CHRISTMAS EVE candlelight service is Dec 24th at 7:00pm

If you missed Pastor Bill's teaching event in honor of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, you can watch the video here
"A Man Named Martin: The Man"


A Word for this Week” - Pastor Bill Mugnolo

Week of 12/11-17/2017: “So, Who Is He?” … Mark 1:1-8

We hear about him every year in the weeks before Christmas. His appearance is unusual, even odd. He lives in a climate zone that harsh and hostile. There, he works hard and long for his Master to whom he is fiercely loyal. And the work that he labors at is all about gift preparation.

So, who is he? There are two answers that you can give to this question. Most would answer that the above description is about one of Santa’s elves. Yes, we hear about him in the weeks leading up to Christmas. His appearance is unusual in his cute little outfit and with his pointed ears, hat, and shoes. He certainly lives in a harsh and hostile climate at the North Pole. There, he works long, hard, and loyally for his master, Santa Claus, as he, along with his fellow elves, busily prepare gifts for children.

So, who is he? A second answer, while it might be given by few, is the best one. The description at the beginning very much describes the forerunner of Our Lord, John the Baptist. During Advent, in the weeks leading up to Christmas, we hear about John. He certainly was unusual in appearance in his garment of camel’s hair and in his diet of locusts and wild honey. But this coarse clothing of a prophet and his meager diet points us to the coarseness of sin and how meager our blessings have been compared to what we knew before our fall into sin.

John also lived and worked in the harsh and hostile climate of the desert region at the Jordan River where he baptized thousands. Here, He labored long, hard, and loyally for his coming master, Jesus Christ. The long trek into the bleak desert regions reminded those who came to be baptized of the bleakness of their sinful condition and how they needed to repent of it.

While Santa’s elves are portrayed as being so privileged in working at their task, John saw himself as far more privileged in preparing the people—both young and old—for the gift of the Savior and the forgiveness that He would bring. Here, is the greatest gift of Christmas and of all time. Here, is the gift that we, like John, are called to possess and then prepare others to receive. May we receive and then pass on this gift of the Christ this Christmas and always.

PASTOR JIM UPDATE

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