December 24, 2017: On this chilly Christmas Eve our singing was robust and spirited as we sang a number of old hymns to include many focused on the birth of our Lord and the subsequent redemption brought forth by His amazing grace. Children of the Heavenly King was selected as our opening hymn, followed by a most sincere and sweet prayer by Elder Richard Tillman.
Pastor Jonathan Cook then presented a sermon based on the events surrounding the births of both John the Baptist… and our Lord, Jesus Christ, as recorded in Luke 1:26-48 which was one of the greatest moments of all human history. Additional scriptural support was provided by Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7, and 40:3, Genesis 49:10, Luke 2:1-15, John 1:1-3, Deuteronomy 22:20-21, and Matthew 1:18-25 and 2:11-12. In his sermon Elder Cook spoke on the many miraculous and prophetic aspects of both births – – to include Elisabeth being both barren and well advanced in age, Mary being with child yet having never known a man, and both Zacharias and Mary being visited by the angel Gabriel. He also reflected on how Jesus as a young child subsequently was protected against the evil king Herods extensive attempts to eliminate any rival king for Israel. All these events confirmed the truth of scripture that For with God all things are possible, even when they are humanly impossible. Elder Cook also pointed out what the Lord Jesus Christ gave up when he laid aside the glory of heaven to take on the fleshly burdens of this sinful world. He sacrificed so much just to come to accomplish our redemption – – the Eternal Creator in heaven became a helpless babe in a lowly manager on earth, one greatly praised by the angels in heaven, yet repeatedly rejected by men on earth.
We closed the service with the hymn How Great Thou Art, followed by a heart-felt prayer by Elder Bill Stephens