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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

12252013 Christmas Day Service

Sermon Audio

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight, O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer.  AMEN.

Let us pray, Jesus Christ, thank you for coming in the manger.  As we celebrate Your birth, enable us to point to You and celebrate Your entrance into the world for all of mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this Christmas morning. AMEN.

When Jesus Christ was born in the manger in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago, it was the fulfillment of the prophecies of old and yet in reality just another birth.  But for us who gather here at Emmanuel this morning, we are intimately connected to this event.

Paul Harvey the radio legend loved to use the catch phrase, here’s ‘the rest of the story’ in his radio program.  And many like myself would wonder and anticipate what the connection was for each story he told.  So to this morning the rest of the story of Jesus birth is just as important and we are connected to it.

Our connection is not by some mysterious story or person, our connection is simply by our being here, believing in Jesus Christ and being baptized into His life, death and resurrection.  With Jesus entrance in the manger, this was the beginning of His ministry here on earth.  We believe that not only was this a fact of reality, but it has an impact upon us today and we are here because of that fact.  Not only our presence this morning is a confession of our belief, but it points to the reality that we who gather and are baptized not only lay claim to Him, but also are claimed by Him and connected to Him each and every day of our lives and especially today Christmas Morning with our celebration of His Birth.

The rest of the story is yet to be written if we look from the perspective of the manger, but when we look from our perspective today we are part of the story of salvation with our belief, baptism and being here on Christmas Day.  For the story of salvation that we celebrate in the manger finds its completion on the Cross of Calvary where Jesus Christ died for you and for me.  Our baptism into Jesus Christ, grafts us not only into His work of salvation but also our inclusion in the book of life.  We are now partakers not only of the heavenly food we receive from His altar, but also life eternal offered to all of mankind.

This morning the rest of the story is yet to be written from our perspective.  We have the opportunity to not only share it with our families as we do so around the tables with all our relatives and friends, but also in our work here in Goodland for the Kingdom of God of the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  May we continue to write the rest of the story which clearly points not only to the manger, but especially to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  For the rest of the story is yet to be written of our spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ for all mankind, including all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel this Christmas morning!  AMEN.
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