December 30, 2018

On this first Sunday of Christmas, we hear the stories of the boy, Samuel, and the boy Jesus – two teens whose faith in and relationship with God are growing independently from their parents.

Hannah’s and Elkanah’s faith family included the priest Eli.  Mary’s and Joseph’s circle of faith included the holy man, Simeon, the prophet, Anna, as well as friends and neighbors.  These families committed themselves to other folks, sharing confidence that God speaks – to them and for them.  Together, they sought to discover what God’s word meant for how they lived, loved, worked, worshiped and grew in favor before God and people.

Their faith commitments and religious observances have implications for us as a congregation.  As, church, the called-out ones, we are gathered and equipped by God’s Spirit to be disciples and apostles of this God’s Jesus, this Emmanuel, this God-with-us.

At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, we’ll be reminded that to keep faith with our vision – living Christ’s love within a changing world – being about our Father’s business, it’s important we remind ourselves we’re living together inside a story saying, “Water is thicker than blood.”

Pastor Jeff

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