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The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Swans on Wenger pond
Swans on the Wenger farm pond near Mount Joy, PA

"The Incarnate Word"
(Part 2)

This week our messages will all be on "The Incarnate Word". These messages may tend to be a bit more theological in nature than many of our messages!

Message summary:  Our lives and destiny are forever changed because God left the splendor of heaven and came to this earth. In response we look up to Him who came down to earth to give His all for us! That is something to always be in wonder about.

Listen to our message on your audio player.

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (John 1:14). "Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:5-7).

Last night we took four of our Amish "grandchildren" out for pizza followed by our Monday night church service with Brooksyne singing in the choir. They are very inquisitive and as we sat in the large sanctuary awaiting the service to begin they looked around with wide-eyed wonder. I considered the contrast with their own services which meet in homes and comparatively very stark surroundings. We have been to Amish church services and almost everything that could be different is, except each in their own way seeks to worship and honor Christ.

Drummer's cage

But the children were most fascinated with a relatively newer phenomenon in the 2,000 year history of the church, the "drummer's cage". There's surely another name for it but that's what it seems like.* In many modern churches the drummer is placed in an enclosed Plexiglass box to moderate the sound. (Note: In above photo I added the "Drummer's Cage" lettering.) Now, at 64 years of age, I've never been in a drummer's cage and at my height and weight it would probably be quite an effort.

The kids wondered what it was for, how he got in there, whether they fed him, how he went to the bathroom, did he sleep there and so forth. (Well they really didn't ask all these questions, I'm exaggerating a little!)

For children to wonder is a healthy thing. Curiosity and inquisitiveness leads to learning and wonder is certainly part of the Christmas message. Mary demonstrated this wonder when she heard the angel's announcement, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" (Luke 1:34).

Today let us consider one of the greatest theological wonders expressed in these words, "The Word became flesh".

A message in the "Our Daily Bread" devotional years ago drew this interesting comparison.

"On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon. It was an unprecedented human achievement. Millions remember the words of Neil Armstrong: 'That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.'

Two thousand years earlier, the Creator of the moon made a giant leap of a vastly different kind. He descended from heaven to earth. God the Son, the eternal Word, stepped down from heaven to become fully human, while remaining fully God. It was an amazing 'leap,' which showed us God's heart of love. He became one of us so that He could die on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. By trusting Him as our Savior, we are forgiven."

Jesus, in His incarnation, left the splendor of heaven. In the powerful prologue to John's gospel we read, "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us" (John 1:14). The apostle Paul, in his magnificent incarnation passage states, "Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness" (Philippians 2:5-7).

C. S. Lewis wrote so poignantly, "The Son of God became a Son of Man that sons of men might become sons of God". That's right! And remember this wonderful truth today, this season, and all your life! Our lives and destiny are forever changed because God left the splendor of heaven and came to this earth. In response we look up to Him who came down to earth to give His all for us! That is something to always be in wonder about.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Jesus, You left the splendor of heaven to take on flesh and dwell among us as You became God in the flesh. In Your humanness You were victorious in the raging battle against the spiritual forces of evil when faced with temptations and trials common to all people. We stand in glorious victory as we follow Your example and hold to Your unchanging truths. How amazing, that You made Yourself nothing, being made in human likeness so that we could relate to Your human condition and partake of Your divine nature. We love You with all our hearts. Amen.

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Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

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Thank you

Stephen & Brooksyne

We have a life-size manger set up in the foyer of the church and the children felt right at home since they spend a lot of time caring for their own animals in their barn at Old Windmill Farm.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Come And See"  Video  Sunday service music from Calvary Church with choir and orchestra. Many nice traditional songs.

"If That Isn't Love"  Video  Greater Vision  "He left the splendor of heaven, knowing His destiny"

"I Wonder as I Wander" Video  North Langley Community Church

"Church Commits To Using Only Cage-Free Drummers By 2025" (A satire post from the Babylon Bee) Apparently I am not the only one who sees them as cages!

Brooksyne looked it up and saw the cages are called "Drum Isolation Booths"

Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas Day)

Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years and that may be a blessing to families and churches during this Christmas season.

"In Remembrance of Me" pdf  This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. For many years Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services.  We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. It is suitable for a church or family gathering

"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.

Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18  pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him"  pdf

My First Christmas In Heaven  This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year. This is the poem that Brooksyne read and wrote about in this message.  

Christmas Knowledge Test

"Christmas in Heaven"  Video  Scotty McCreery  Probably a bit syrupy for some but a source of comfort for those who have lost a loved one this past year. I heard this song on Saturday on the Gospel greats with Paul Heil.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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