Morning Worship- “The Newness of Christmas”
First things first: Happy New Year everyone! The beginning of a new year is often associated with expectation and opportunity. This year is going to be different! Of course, past failures and present turmoil can overshadow those hopes, leaving cynicism and depression. Nevertheless, our hope for newness and change is not without foundation! Christ came that we might be born again, and that means nothing if not change! That’s our theme for this Sunday as we examine the last Gift of Christ in this Christmas series. Bright Hope for Tomorrow? That’s a gift of Christ.
Passages for Meditation
- James 1:18. What does it mean to be a “firstfruit of his creatures?”
- 1 Peter 1:3-5. How does God cause us to be born again? What should our expectations be is as result?
- John 3:1-15. Why does Nicodemus not understand? Notice that Jesus never really gives Nicodemus a direct answer to his question. What’s the solution to the riddle Jesus presents, and how do you know?
Questions for Consideration
- Have you grown cynical about the prospect of genuine change? How should the promises of the gospel change your perspective?
- Is change a luxury or a command?
- We will be celebrating the supper this Sunday. The promise of the gospel is that change is real through new birth, but there is a genuine cost as well: death. Christ had to die that we might live; furthermore, we must die to ourselves in order to live with Christ (Rom 6:1ff). What sins need to be mortified in your life?
- How does the provision of forgiveness and the promise of heaven (see 1 Peter 1 again) provide us with hope in the midst of failure as we pursue transformation in our lives?
Hymns for Proclamation
- 214: Angels we Have Heard on High
- 224: Go Tell it on the Mountain. Why might this be appropriate after receiving the promise of forgiveness?
- 198: Lift up Your Heads Ye Mighty Gates!
- 203: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. How does this hymn fit the theme for this morning?