Don't forget that this Sunday, Christmas Eve, 6 of the 8 churches that call our campus home, will gather together for one huge birthday celebration as we reflect on the birth of Jesus......our Messiah!
The morning will kick-off at 9:00am with our Christmas Cafe'. The Christmas Cafe' will be located in the Fireside room and will feature regular and specialty coffee, hot chocolate, smoothies and assorted pastries.
Our Carols and Candlelight service will begin at 10:00am. Highlights will include a kid's time, where we will invite all the kids to join Pastor Tom, from our Chinese Church, for a reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2. There will also be scripture readings in each language that is represented (4 languages in all)! And of course, we will end our service by candlelight as we sing Silent Night.
NOTE: Because we are combining with the other churches, we anticipate having a full parking lot. To allow our guests to park in our church lot, we are asking our volunteers to either park on the street or in the parking lot on the southwest side of the tennis courts across from the Beaverton High School football field. We will have a shuttle beginning at 7:45am to transport you to the church and will also take you back after the service. For the rest of you, please try to come as a family in one car and follow the directions of our parking lot volunteers.
Before I move on, I just have one question: Who are you bringing with you this Sunday?
As you prepare your hearts for the arrival of Jesus, I want to leave you with an excerpt from God Came Near by Max Lucado. It's called Mary's Prayer. I hope you enjoy it.
"God. O infant-God. Heaven's fairest child. Conceived by the union of divine grace with our disgrace. Sleep well.
Sleep well. Bask in the coolness of this night bright with diamonds. Sleep well, for the heat of anger simmers nearby. Enjoy the silence of the crib, for the noise of confusion rumbles in your future. Savor the sweet safety of my arms, for a day is soon coming when I cannot protect you.
Rest well, tiny hands. For though you belong to a king, you will touch no satin, own no gold. You will grasp no pen, guide no brush. No, your tiny hands are reserved for works more precious: to touch a leper's open wound, to wipe a widow's weary tears, to claw the ground of Gethsemane.
Your hands, so tiny, so tender, so white--clutched tonight in an infant's fist. They aren't destined to hold a scepter nor wave from a palace balcony. They are reserved instead for a Roman spike that will staple them to a Roman cross.
Lay still tiny mouth. Lay still mouth from which eternity will speak. Tiny tongue that will soon summon the dead, that will define grace, that will silence our foolishness. Rosebud lips--upon which ride a starborn kiss of forgiveness to those who believe you, and of death to those who deny you--lay still.
And little heart....holy heart.....pumping the blood of life through the universe: How many times will we break you? You will be torn by the thorns of our accusations. You'll be ravaged by the cancer of our sin. And you'll be pierced by the spear of our rejection.
Yet in the piercing, you will find rest. Your hands will be freed, your eyes will see justice, your lips will smile, and your feet will carry you home.
And there you'll rest again--but this time in the embrace of your Father."
Christmas always brings a rush of different emotions......sadness, hope, loss, excitement, fear, anticipation, uncertainty, love. No matter which of these emotions describes your Christmas, allow the final words of Mary's prayer to guide you through this season, knowing that one day, you'll rest again in the embrace of your Heavenly Father.
See you Sunday.