February 2020  
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This Week's Events
FEB

19

WED
WORSHIP TEAM PRACTICE
6:00 PM
Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
Celebration Choir Rehearsal
7:00 PM
Wednesdays 7:00 p.m.
CONFIRMATION CLASS
7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
NO CONFIRMATION CLASS ON NOV 27TH
FEB

20

THU
DORCAS QUILTING GROUP
9:30 AM
Dorcas Quilting Group meet the 3rd Thursday each month to tie quilts.
BELL CHOIR REHEARSAL
5:45 PM
BELL CHOIR WILL NOT MEET ON THE 28TH
FEB

22

SAT
Men's Breakfast & Bible Study
7:30 AM
GROUP MEETS THE 4TH SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED. CHECK NEWSLETTER AND BULLETINS FOR DETAILS.
Bible Search
A Message from the Pastor
Pastor

Greg Kintzi

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A MANGER FOR MISHA

 

“Incarnation:
The out-of-this-world notion that the eternal and infinite God came down to this earth in the finite and first century Jesus of Nazareth.”

-Crazy Talk

 

            Philip Yancy relates a story of sitting in Chicago O’Hare Airport one long night, waiting impatiently for a flight that was delayed for five hours. A friend of his, the author Karen Mains, was there with him; as she was planning to attend the same conference he was. Philip was working on the book Disappointment with God at the time, and he felt deeply burdened by other people’s pains and sorrows, doubts and unanswered prayers.

            Karen listened to Philip in silence for a very long time, and then out of nowhere she asked a question that Philip would never forget. “Philip do you ever just let God love you?” she said. “It’s pretty important, I think.”

            Philip realized with a start that Karen had brought to light a gaping hole in his spiritual life. For all his absorption in the Christian faith, he had missed the most important message of all. The story of Jesus is the story of a celebration, a story of love. It involves pain and disappointment, yes, for God as well as for humanity. But Jesus embodies the promise of a God who will go to any length to get his family back.

            A couple from the United States spent some time serving as missionaries in one of the former Soviet Republics. They were caring for children in an orphanage and, like anyone who has been involved in a ministry with such kids, they were simply overwhelmed by the tragedy of so many children who’d been abandoned.

            On one occasion this missionary couple was teaching the children about Christmas. They told them all about Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the wise men, and about the baby Jesus. They told them all about the stable, and the manger, and the star in the sky. They told them all about God’s love for the world embodied in the birth of Jesus. And after teaching the children the Christmas Story, the couple invited them to draw some pictures of the manger scene.

            All of the pictures were special! But one in particular caught their attention. It was drawn by a little boy named Misha. And what made Misha’s drawing distinctive was that there was not one, but two babies lying in the manger.

            “Misha, what a wonderful picture!” said the woman missionary. “But who is the other baby in the manger with the baby Jesus?”

            Misha looked up with a lovely expression on his face. “The other baby is Misha,” he smiled.

            “Oh? How is it that you added yourself to the manger scene?” she asked.

            And this is what Misha said. ‘When I was drawing the picture of the baby Jesus, Jesus looked at me and said, ‘Misha, where is YOUR family?’ I said to Jesus, ‘I have no family.’ Then Jesus said to me, ‘Misha, where is your home?’ And I said to Jesus, ‘I have no home.’ And then Jesus said to me, ‘Misha, you can come and be in my family and live in my home.’”

            That’s the message of the incarnation in a nutshell. God entered into our world in order to enter into our lives. He came to share what we are, to give meaning to what we do, to heal wounds, to create a community of love where there had previously only been alienation and brokeness. What can compare with a gift like that? When God came down to earth as a baby born on an out of the way hamlet called Bethlehem, God showed the world, in a way it never would have expected, that nothing can ever separate us from God’s inclusive and welcoming love.

            The news is good! You and I have something to celebrate. God has made a place for us in His new community and He will never abandon us or desert us in our time of need. As John Henry Newman once said: “The Incarnation is the most stupendous event which ever can take place on earth, and after it henceforth, I do not see how we can scruple at any miracle on the mere ground of it being unlikely to happen.”

            The Word became flesh,” wrote John, “and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) That is what the Incarnation is all about. It is messy. It is unsophisticated. It is undignified, radical in the extreme. But according to Christianity it is the way things are. And that is good news for Misha. And it is good news for us.

           

A Blessed Advent to All,

Pastor Greg Kintzi