Our latest Warm & Fuzzy project involves making upwards of 1000 fleece scarves that will be distributed at our local food bank. We have also been making flannel blankets that will be sent to Mission Central in Mechanicsburg, PA to be used in their birthing kits.
One of our newest and most meaningful outreach projects is the Backpack Program. This was begun in the 2016/2017 school year and benefits local students in our elementary and middle schools. We started with 34 elementary students who signed up to receive a backpack filled with food and snack items to be taken home and utilized over the weekends. This year the program has expanded to include the middle school and at the most recent packing we filled bags with food to benefit 173 students. We meet twice monthly to fill enough bags with food and snacks for two weekends. For the month of November we will have filled approximately 692 bags.
Saturday, October 28th, was our very successful indoor/outdoor Yard Sale. We pray that this annual community outreach project was a blessing to all who participated in any way. The items are never priced as we let those who shop pay only what they feel they are able to afford by way of a donation. This is a small way that we can reach out to help those in our community.
Next Sunday, November 19th, will be our annual Thanksgiving breakfast. This will take the place of our regular Sunday service and will be held in our social hall.
Sunday, December 3rd, we will the Hanging of the Greens service. This special service will consist of Christmas songs, special readings explaining the origins of various Christmas traditions such as the Christmas tree, poinsettias, candy canes and nativity scene to name a few.
We look forward to our beautiful Christmas Eve service every year. This moving service is filled with Christmas songs, Bible readings and ends with everyone lighting a candle as we sing Silent Night. The parking lot perimeter, sidewalks and the road leading up to the church is lit with softly glowing luminaires. Please come and share this very special service with us.
This month we celebrate the birth of Jesus in the little town of Bethlehem. This wonderful gift to us from God was prophesied in the Old Testament and those prophecies were fulfilled a little over two thousand years ago. In the Books of Micah and Isaiah we see just two of many of these prophecies:
Micah 5:2 “But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah,
yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;” AV
Isaiah 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” AV
Scripture tells us before Christ’s birth that he would be born in Bethlehem and come from the line of David. This insignificant little town in Judah gave birth to King David and the “King of Kings”. Everything surrounding this wondrous event fits so beautifully together in Scripture authored from God in eternity past.
These two prophecies, both written approximately 700 years before Jesus’s birth, give us the facts that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem, born of a virgin, and that He is God. Mary was a virgin so the birth of Jesus was not like we are born because we have inherited the sin nature that came into the world when Adam disobeyed in the Garden of Eden. Jesus was without sin since he had no earthly father and he was God himself given to us through what is called the incarnation where God became flesh to be sacrificed on the cross for our sins.
Emmanuel means “God With Us”, the authority of Scripture allows us to know without a doubt that Jesus was fully God and since he was born of a virgin that he was fully man. For Jesus to sacrifice himself for us He had to be one of us. God gave us His Only Begotten Son (one and only) so we would have eternal life. If we believe that Jesus was born of a virgin, died on a cross, and rose bodily in the tomb after three days, we can also have eternal life. All others that have ever lived have been sinners except Jesus. Adam and Eve, Abraham and Moses, David and Mary, you and I are sinners and need a Savior. The only intercessor with God the Father was born on that Christmas morn for our salvation through the free gift of grace given to us through Christ Jesus.
May all of you have a blessed Christmas and remember the “reason for the season.”
This is the first entry in a Bible Study Minute blog that will have new entries approximately once a month. We will use the Authorized Version of Scripture for our Bible quotes signified by the “AV” at the end of a quoted verse. The Authorized Version is the text from the 1611 King James Bible. While it will take more than a minute to read this blog it will concentrate on one aspect of Bible study, unlike our Adult Bible Education class that meets after our church service most Sunday mornings. Those classes take a topic of Scripture and have more time to study in detail.
Today’s topic is the Authority of Scripture and will show how the very beginning of the Bible states that authority. The Bible was written by approximately 40 different human authors over a period of 1500 years. While human authors wrote the words, God through the Holy Spirit inspired the words. God himself states the proof of the previous statement:
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” AV
As God’s words clearly state, all of Scripture, therefore the entire Bible, is given of God, so by believing in the triune God of the Bible you must logically believe in the Authority of Scripture. Since remember the Word was God and the Word is God:
John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” AV
One important way to study Scripture is to understand that Scripture explains Scripture so the above verses explain the truth of our topic today. So to finish our first topic that lays our foundation for future mini-lessons we will look at the Authority of Scripture as stated in the foundational verse of the foundational book of the Bible:
Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” AV
So keeping with the theme of the Authority of Scripture the first verse of the Bible states that God created – not the big bang, not evolution, not aliens, but God himself. When was creation – “in the beginning” that’s when time began because God is eternal he exists outside of the thing he created – time! And finally he created the heaven (space and all that would be in it) and the earth (matter and all that would be). The Bible is the truth because of the Authority of Scripture and his creating shows his absolute Sovereignty over everything and everyone, but enough for today look for another “minute” topic.
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