Sermons

Summary: This is a 90 minute worship service including a second sermon in the series developed around the movie Narnia.

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Techs: Don’t forget to start Christmas music as soon as possible after the band is done rehearsing. At 3 minutes til roll the new Christmas Trivia video muted

Opening Set of Praise

Open Up your Eyes (Band Only) (From the Narnia Soundtrack)

Glory

Joyful Joyful we adore Thee

Carols (Accapella)

O Come all ye Faithful

Angels we have heard on high

Advent Candle Lighting

Reader 1: (as first purple candle is lit) Today our Advent journey draws closer to Bethlehem. On the First Sunday of Advent we remembered the prophets, spiritual heroes who stood on the front lines of the faith. They faithfully foretold the coming of Emmanuel.

Reader 2: (as second purple candle is lit) On the Second Sunday of Advent, we met the shepherds who allowed God to invade their space. They went on to spread the word about Emmanuel’s birth..

Reader 1: On this Third Sunday of Advent, we remember two heroes of the faith whom God chose to be the earthly parents of his one and only son--Joseph and Mary. What would have happened if they had refused their assignment? What would the world be like without Christmas?

Reader 2: (as the rose colored candle is lit) So today we light the rose-colored candle to mark the halfway point in our Advent journey. And we rejoice that Joseph and Mary said, “Yes” when God tapped them for the extraordinary assignment of parenting the Messiah. We also rejoice that today ordinary people are still saying “Yes” when God has a mission for them.

Welcome and Announcements

Christmas Services Schedule

Year End Giving

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Sermon Song: Waiting for the World to Fall (Band Only) (From Narnia Soundtrack)

As the song ends Duane will turn on the projection behind the speaker that loops the continuous winter scene. This will stay on throughout the sermon. Lighting should be the two middle spots above the pulpit only.

WHAT IF THERE WERE NO CHRISTMAS?

(Narnia—Part 2)

Oxford, England, September 18, 1931. Two brilliant young professors walk in the darkness until 3:00 a.m. Jack and Tollers have become fast friends, drawn together by their love for obscure philosophers and ancient myths and fairy tales. But tonight, Jack is not talking about literature; he is desperately looking for answers to his doubts. He has recently converted from Athiesm to Christianity, in his own words “the most dejected and reluctant convert in all of England,” but he struggles to believe the most basic truths of the Gospel. His friend Tollers is a Christian, but instead of quoting Scripture or arguing philosophy, he begins to talk about the stories they both love so much. Tollers says that in every great story, there is something good and deep—something that points to the best and deepest story—The Real Story—God’s story of salvation through Jesus Christ.

That September walk was a breakthrough for Jack, and two weeks later he told a friend that his doubts were no longer holding him back from his commitment to follow Christ. He told his friend Tollers that the world needed more stories that would point to The Real Story. Tollers, best known as J.R.R. Tolkien, went on to write the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jack, who wrote as C.S. Lewis, wrote literary essays and philosophy and apologetics. He didn’t get around to writing his best stories until much later in life, and when he did his stories were written for children and for those “old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”

If you were going to write a story, how would it begin? Most of the world’s greatest stories begin with a painful reality: Things are not as they should be. Cinderella has a wicked stepmother and stepsisters. Sleeping Beauty has been cursed by a disgruntled old fairy. Hansel and Gretel are driven by starvation to the house of a wicked witch. Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother has been killed by the Big Bad Wolf. Snow White (in the original version) has a jealous mother who hires a hit man to kill her daughter.

Why do the greatest stories begin like that? The world is not as it should be. There are tsunamis and hurricanes, war and starvation, earthquakes and pollution. Marriages fall apart, children quarrel, politicians lie, and people we trust betray us. The world is not as it should be.

IF THERE WERE NO CHRISTMAS…

[18] This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. [19] Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

[20] But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. [21] She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

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