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The Other Christmas Story

This past Wednesday our Men’s Bible Study group read and discussed “The Other Christmas Account”. When we think of Christmas, our minds usually go to Luke’s version of Jesus’ birth, complete with angels, shepherds, and a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.

However, Matthew tells the same story, but from a different point of view. Sometimes it is said that Luke tells the story from Mary’s point of view, while Matthew tells the story from Joseph’s point of view. And while that is not one hundred percent true, there is some validity to it.

I invite you to read Matthew 1:18-25. We will be focusing on this text in worship this weekend. As you read, take note of the two different names of the newborn Messiah.

In verse 21, the angel tells Joseph in a dream to give the name Jesus to the baby. Jesus means “The One Who Saves”. In the Hebrew language, Jesus is translated Joshua. Remember Joshua from the Old Testament? He took the reins from Moses and led the Israelites into the promised land. Jesus, the Savior, is depicted in Matthew chapter one as the one who will lead us into the promised land of the very Kingdom of God. We are not saved from slavery in Egypt, like the Israelites, but we are saved from the power of sin and death.

The second name mentioned in Matthew’s birth narrative is “Emmanuel”. Jesus is Emmanuel, which means “God with Us”. What Good News! God, the one who saves, shows up for us and promises never to leave or forsake us. God with us, always.

Yes, we have lots to celebrate at Christmas. As we move closer to December 25, take time to reflect and give thanks for the best gift ever given, Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.

Upcoming Worship Opportunities:

  • This Weekend, Dec 16-17 – Normal Worship Times, Saturday at 5 p.m. and Sunday at 9:00 and 10:30 a.m.
  • This Sunday Afternoon, Dec 17 – Sunday Church School Children’s Christmas Program: 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 20 – Midweek Lenten Worship using Holden Evening Prayer at 6 p.m. preceded by Soup Supper beginning at 5 p.m.

The full Christmas Eve worship schedule:

Saturday, December 23

  • 5:00 p.m. (Full Christmas Eve Worship with candlelight and Holy Communion – Pastor Tim preaching)

Sunday, December 24

  • No 9:00 a.m. Service
  • 10:30 a.m. (carols, candlelight, and Holy Communion – Pastor Heidi preaching)
  • 2:00 p.m. (children and family emphasis – Pastor Sarah leading)
  • 3:30 p.m. (livestreamed at gloriadeisf.org/live, carols and candlelight – Pastor Tim preaching)
  • 5:00 p.m. (carols and candlelight – Pastor Tim preaching)
  • 9:00 p.m. (carols, candlelight, and Holy Communion – Pastor Chris preaching)

*Please note, there will be only one worship service on Sunday, December 31 at 10:30 a.m. and it will be livestreamed at www.gloriadeisf.org/live.

See you in worship,

Pastor Tim

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