Sunday, December 25, 2016

THE STORY OF CHRISTMAS IS FORGIVENESS: SCS 101

Mashoko Christian Hospital, Zimbabwe, Africa

Sunday, December 25, 2016, Stoney Creek Sermonette: Number 101

PRAYER for Today:
Matthew 6:9-13 King James Version (KJV)
9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

MORNING WORSHIP MUSIC:

SCRIPTURE LESSON for Today:  

Colossians 1:15-23 New International Version (NIV)

The Supremacy of the Son of God

15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

SERMON for Today:

C.S. Lewis wrote in his book The Problem of Pain, “To ask that God’s love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable.”

The story of Christmas is forgiveness.  Paul tells us in our Scripture lesson that if we continue in our faith and hold on to the hope “held out in the gospel” we will be found “without blemish.”  How?  Because God became flesh and died for our sins.  The story of the baby in the manger is a story of redemption.  It is a story of God’s love for His creation.

If we remember this Christmas that forgiveness is the story, we should also remember that when Jesus taught us to pray he said, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

God Bless and May God Walk Beside You Each Step You Take This Week. Amen

© Ed Cooper, December 25, 2016, Stoney Creek, Tennessee, Appalachia  
  All rights reserved
(Ed Cooper is an ordained minister and Director of Project Dream Again. He lives with his wife Patty in the mountains of East Tennessee.)

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