Summary: The story of Scripture is about the glory of the Savior.

Creation: God Makes

Genesis 1:1

Rev. Brian Bill

December 3-4, 2016

Prayer Time – Let’s pray for Rick Williams and family in the death of his father and Janet Janacek and family in the death of her mother.

I’ve been fascinated and frustrated about something for many years (just ask my family). Have you noticed how companies have shrunk the size of their products while keeping the packaging and pricing the same? Let me demonstrate.

• Cans of Coffee. How many of you remember when coffee was sold in 1-pound, 2-pound or 3-pound sizes? The weight of most of the small cans is now only 11 ounces.

BTW, if you want a guaranteed one-pound bag of java the student ministry is making Caribou whole bean and ground coffee available for a suggested donation of $12 for regular and decaf and $15 for mint chocolate. Pastor Kyle and the students weighed each bag to make sure they are exactly one pound! The students will be going on two mission-related trips this summer and this money will be used to help supplement their costs. Speaking of coffee, Tim Buk Brew will be serving free coffee between our three services next Sunday in the gym.

• Bars of Soap. Have you noticed that there is now a chunk of soap missing from each bar that you buy? This one makes me laugh because it also has 8 holes on the bottom. The marketers are calling them “lather pockets.” I’m surprised they didn’t call them “laughter pockets” to express their delight in duping consumers.

• Peanut Butter. In 2000, Skippy and other manufacturers reduced the standard size jar from 18 ounces to 16 ounces by adding a concave dimple in the bottom without changing its height. Thankfully we shop at Aldi and they’ve not reduced the size. The jar I have here has slimmed down to 15 ounces!

• Ice Cream Containers. Several years ago a number of companies subtly changed the size of their containers from ½ gallon to 1.75 quarts and now the standard size is down to 1.5 quarts. When consumers started complaining, some manufacturers explained that the smaller size fits better in the freezer! It’s almost like they’re doing us a favor!

By the way, when you see “Same taste, new look,” on a label its likely code for a downsized container. “Healthier” may simply mean there are fewer calories because there’s less product in the packaging. “Greener” might mean they used less plastic in the smaller size and “portable” could mean that it’s now small enough to fit in your pocket!

Interestingly, the packaging industry has dubbed these new containers “cheater cups” because they’re designed to confuse consumers. One thing companies are counting on is that it’s easy to sneak subtle changes past people. This is really seen with cereal boxes…

• Cereal Boxes. Companies can change the height or width of the boxes but consumers would notice so they instead shrunk the depth. These boxes have now become shallow and feel hollow but look the same on the shelves.

Sounds like what’s happened in our culture related to Christmas.

Have you noticed that the observance of the nativity has shrunk in our nation? [Demonstrate by bringing hands together] The depth is now gone and been replaced with seasonal sentimentality.

Actually as Christians, we’re in danger of shrinking Christmas as well [Demonstrate by bringing hands together] when we focus only on the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke and then only during the month of December. We need to go deep and wide and long. And that’s our aim in this series. Christmas doesn’t begin with the manger and it doesn’t end with the wise men. Christmas is rooted in Creation and finds its fulfillment in the final Consummation.

I want to highlight our December service schedule again because it’s different from other years. Next weekend, our focus will be on helping people find hope. We’ve combined our children and adult choirs, along with our strings and brass ensembles. We’ve added an extra service to help you invite more people – Saturday at 5 and Sunday at 8, 9:30 and 10:45. On Christmas Eve we’ll have two services at 3 and 5 pm. And then on Christmas Day, we’ll have one service at 10 am. There will be different music and a different message on these two days. Since Christmas is on a Sunday, we have the joy of remembering the birth and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. While some churches are cancelling services on Christmas, we’re committed to worship together. If you can make it, we’d love to have you!

The best way to understand the Bible is not just looking at small sections but by seeing the overarching meta-narrative. God’s plan and the plotline of the Bible stretch from Genesis to Revelation – all 66 books are woven together by a single storyline.

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