Someday At Christmas

The Mess and the Messenger | Someday at Christmas | Pastor Steve Andres

December 24, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Luke 2:17–18

A people in darkness have seen a great light! We thank God for you, and we hope you were blessed by this season’s amazing worship and celebration! On Sunday, Pastor Steve Andres concluded our SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS series with a message about the shepherds at Christmas. Luke 2:17-18 When the shepherds had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds were unlikely draft picks to be the first messengers of the Good News of Christ’s birth. What can their story teach us about God’s plan for us? 1) You can’t have a messenger without a YES. It is not our job to do amazing things for God, it is GOD’s job to do amazing things for God. God will use the least likely who is most willing to say YES. 2) You can’t have a messenger without a MESS. Christians aren’t perfect people, they are forgiven people. The shepherds were not dressed in their Christmas best, but they were willing to trust God’s magnanimous love for them. We are all a mess when God calls us! 3) You can’t have a messenger without a MESSAGE. The message that the shepherds were sharing was that a Savior was BORN, not elected or appointed. His birth was exactly what we needed, rescue from our sin. This little baby who was born in weakness and humility would be strong enough to defeat death and rule in glory! JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD IS COME!

The Reviews Are In | Someday at Christmas | Pastor Steve Andres

December 17, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Luke 2:6–7, Romans 7:24, Romans 1:8

How glorious was the night before Christmas? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres continued our SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS series with a message about hope in the middle of frustration. Luke 2:6-7 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Sometimes things are not as advertised. Mary had been promised a blessing from the Lord. She and Joseph now faced the embarrassment of an unplanned pregnancy, the challenge of a long and uncomfortable journey, the burden of a new tax, and an unwelcoming hometown. Was this the blessing? If so, the reviews would be mixed at best. But that isn’t how the story ends! When Jesus was born it changed everything! The Apostle Paul wrote about his despair in Romans 7:24, calling himself “miserable”, but that isn’t where he ends. Just one chapter later he said we are “more than conquerors” because of what Jesus has done for us. Then he gives us the final review of life in Christ: Romans 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. When we look at our lives and our world, we might be tempted to despair, but God isn’t finished! This season is a celebration of how the arrival of Jesus changes everything. After all is said and done, the final review of life in Christ will be: it was worth it all! Merry Christmas!  

The Eternally Speaking God | Someday at Christmas | Pastor Steve Andres

December 10, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Hebrews 3:13, Matthew 2:10–11, 2 Corinthians 9:11, James 1:17

How is God speaking to you? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres continued our SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS series with a message about the Wise Men in the Christmas story. Matthew 2:10-11 When the Magi saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. At Christmas, God welcomed outsiders and gave them a starring role in his miraculous rescue mission. How did the Magi find Jesus? 1) God speaks star. James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. Theologians call it prevenient grace: the kindness and grace that God shows to us before it is ever in our hearts to call on him. God spoke to the Magi in the language of their loves, and he gave them a star to lead them to Himself. 2) God speaks kindred spirits. Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. The long journey to Bethlehem happened with people who shared a kindred spirit. God was faithful to give them kindred spirits for the journey, and to warn them against Herod’s duplicity. He speaks the same way today! 3) God speaks generous love. 2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. We invest in what matters to us. The Magi didn’t know how their gifts would be used, but God did. God used their generous offerings to support this family when Jesus was a child in Egypt. If we worship the gifts that God gives, they turn toxic. But when we journey together to the Giver of every good thing, we offer our best in worship and love, and He does the rest!

Can you believe it? | Someday at Christmas | Pastor Steve Andres

December 3, 2023 • Pastor Steve Andres • Luke 1:13–14, Luke 1:13

Do you trust what God says? This weekend Pastor Steve Andres began a new series, SOMEDAY AT CHRISTMAS, with a message from the Christmas story. Luke 1:13-14 Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. He will be a joy and delight to you, and he will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. There are no perfect Christians, only forgiven Christians. How do we continue to grow in the grace of trusting God and believing His word? Zechariah’s story gives us some insight. 1) Living in dark days is not the same as living in darkness. Luke anchors his story in the days of Herod: a dark time for Israel. But he introduces us to a faithful couple who are living in contrast to the compromise and chaos. 2) It’s possible to be blameless but barren. Zechariah and Elizabeth were blameless, but the desire of their hearts was not fulfilled. Their faithfulness was not contingent on God answering their prayers. 3) God has not ignored your prayers. The angel assures Zechariah that God has remembered his prayer. When we pray, our prayers don’t dissipate, they accumulate. Every prayer that has been offered in faith is heard in heaven! 4) Don’t mess up your miracle. Zechariah is a spiritual leader, serving in the temple, but he still doesn’t trust God’s word. The angel tells Zechariah that his words are messing up his miracle, and he gives Zechariah nine months to break the stronghold and trust God.  5) Obedience puts a multiplier on your miracle. You don’t know what God is working on while you are waiting for the answer to your prayer! Luke 1:13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard.” Which prayer? The prayer for a son? Or the prayer for mercy and forgiveness for God’s people? Both. Because Zechariah and Elizabeth trusted God, he not only answered their prayer, but the prayers of generations of God’s people for salvation!