Merry Christmas everyone! This week we will begin singing Christmas Hymns (and welcome to Bonnie Hoffman, our new Musical Director).
Passages for Meditation
- 1 Corinthians 11:1 and Ephesians 5:1-2. What does it mean to “imitate?” How can we imitate Christ, since he was perfect?
- 1saiah 52:1-10. What is Israel preparing for? What does it need to do to get ready?
- Acts 20:17-38. How does Paul describe the character of his ministry? What is his hope for the Ephesians, and what do the Ephesians need to do to ensure that hope is fulfilled? What does Paul mean in v26-27 that he is innocent of the blood of all?
Questions for Consideration
- Paul calls us to “be alert” (20:31). What does that mean? What does an “alert” faith look like?
- What specific character traits do we need to work on to measure up to Paul? What activities should we engage in to be an imitator of him?
Hymns for Proclamation
- Hymn 196. Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus. How might an ancient (pre-Jesus) Israelite have understood this hymn differently than we do? Is it still appropriate for us to sing?
- Hymn 201. O Little Town of Bethlehem. Why is the “humble estate” of Jesus’ birth significant in the way he saves us?
- Hymn 213. What Child is This
- Hymn 230. Thou Who Was Rich Beyond All Splendor. How is this an appropriate response to the message? How should Christ’s incarnation guide us as we seek to imitate him?
Back to Hebrews! I recently asked somebody “if you had only one text, and needed to establish the divinity and humanity of Christ, what would it be.” Our doctrine of the dual-natures of Christ is established by looking at multiple texts—no one text gets it all. But Hebrews 1 comes closer than any, I think (though it’s in tight competition with Romans 1:4). So we find ourselves engaged yet again in High Theology, but that theology has a purpose: to give us confidence that Christ’s Kingdom is perfect, and that all the benefits found therein are sufficient for our needs.
- Psalm: 110. There couldn’t be a more appropriate Psalm for our reflections tonight!
- More Christmas hymns tonight: 226, 206, 196. Notice that we will close our worship on the Lord’s Day the same way we opened it!
- Sermon Text: Hebrews 1