Welcoming Emmanuel: Advent-Christmas 2016

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During Advent 2016, Community Mennonite Church will worship together as an act of welcoming Emmanuel, God with us. The Biblical witness is that God is always with us, that we cannot go where God is not, but there is a difference between God's presence and welcoming God's presence and power in our lives. As we open the windows of an Advent calendar, read a daily Advent devotional, light a series of candles and pray during these weeks, we welcome the Holy One. As we parent, volunteer, work, and ponder, we welcome the Holy One. Matthew, our gospel this church year, begins: An account of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham. This opening suggests a back story. Indeed, the whole Old Testament–the lineage of Abraham & Sarah, the reign of Israelite and Judean Kings, and the prophetic tradition of a Messiah are all understood as a centuries-long welcome of Emmanuel, who, according to Matthew's account, is born to a woman, adopted by a man, embraced by some, and rejected by many. Today, women, men, children, and elders enter into Advent with a word of welcome: O come, O come, Emmanuel.

November 27
Welcoming Emmanuel–God's Desire
God is with us in our anxiety.
Jesus fills the desire of the prophets.
Isaiah 29:17-24
Matthew 1:1

December 4
Welcoming Emmanuel–God's Blessing
God is with us in our daily life.
As the Son of Abraham, Jesus is a blessing for all nations.
Genesis 12:1-9

December 11
Welcoming Emmanuel–God's Peace
God is with us in decisions.
As the Son of David, Jesus establishes a new kingdom of peace.
Isaiah 9:2-7
Ephesians 2:11-22

December 18
Welcoming Emmanuel–God's Surprise
God is with us in our families.
As the son of Joseph & Mary, Jesus surprises the world.
Genesis 16:7-16
Judges 13:3-20, 24
I Samuel 1:1-20

December 24
Christmas Even Candlelight Worship at 7 pm
Psalm 97:11-12
John 1:1-14

December 25
Christmas Day Worship at 10 am
Isaiah 52:7-10
Matthew 1:18-25

January 1
New Year's Day Breads at 8:30 am
New Year's Day Worship at 10 am 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-13
Psalm 8
Revelation 21:1-6a
Matthew 25:31-46

CMC will not have Sunday School or Adult Ed classes on December 25th or January 1st. Our regular schedule with worship at 9 am and Sunday School at 10:30 will resume on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017.

Community Mennonite Church
70 South High Street Harrisonburg, VA