Summary: The Star is born! The Grand Finale The Star and Stars of Christmas is a series of messages for Advent. Using the idea of a play on a stage. Each message will look at different characters in the Christmas story.
Opening Song— This is a Strange Way to Save the World https://youtu.be/iKYfzax-sNk
Special: O Holy Night
• Scripture reading
The Birth of Jesus
Luke 2 1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.
6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.
• Meditation: The Bible tells us that Mary “held within her heart what the angel had told her and the meaning of all of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus”. Yet, Scripture doesn’t tell us how she had to rely upon the visitation of the Angel as the story of Jesus’ life, ministry, crucifixion, resurrection unfolding. I can only imagine what her first communion was like. I would think that it was a very humbling experience as she reflected on these things. As we observe communion, let us reflect upon the salvation that Jesus brings to us. We are recipients of his mercy and grace.
• Somewhere In Your Silent Night https://youtu.be/E3LKEYdBt7U
• Serving of elements
Message: A Star is Born
A Star is Born
Over the past four weeks we have followed the Christmas story as told by the Bible. Using the analogy of script as a way to step into the story, we focused on context of Jesus’ birth. We learned how the Jewish leaders, Roman leaders, and others were not able to see God at work in history. Yet, we also learned that young people, like Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds heard and believed. We also learned that people from afar, whose culture and religious beliefs were not of the Jewish faith heard and believed. The Bible also reveals how the earth was always full of humble people who believed. And Sunday, we were reminded by Scripture, Romans 10, that God has placed a God-given potential right here, in our hearts, to believe.
This evening we will look briefly at Scripture that focuses our attention on the Star of Christmas. The first passage presents Jesus as the “Star of David.” This symbol, also called the Shield of David, comes from the Jewish faith.
THE DOWNWARD TRIANGLE: The Root…of David
THE UPWARD TRIANGLE: The Offspring of David
BOTH TRIANGLES AS ONE: The bright Morning Star
Messianic Jews maintain the symbol, while adding a cross, to represent the manner in which they believe in Jesus as the Messiah. Messianic Judaism is an evangelical Christian movement which emerged back in the 1960s. It keeps the traditions of Judaism since they consider that Jesus was Jewish and did not abolish the Old Testament or the law. .The star of David represents the Old Testament or the Law, and the cross represents the New Testament. This is a symbol of how this group keeps the Christian faith while remaining faithful to the Jewish tradition of the early Christians.
Revelation 22:16 is a direct Biblical reference to the six-pointed Star of David as the primary symbol of the Morning Star, Jesus Christ. The passage’s specific location at the very end of the very last Book is no coincidence. Basically, the last thing that Jesus Christ has to say to billions of his followers even today, at the very end of the very last book in the Judeo/Christian Bible, is that He is ‘the bright Morning Star’.
John, in his revelation while writing in exile, helps us understand the meaning of God’s mission upon the world. He gives us a profound message, one that enhances our hope, emboldens our faith, and empowers us for living the abundant life. Listen to the word of God.
Don’t Put It Away on the Shelf!
Revelation 22 The Message (MSG)
22 1-5 Then the Angel showed me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God service—worshiping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after age.