MESSAGE NOTES

Anticipation, Expectation, Celebration
Luke 1:30-33
Pastor Kreg Kastelz

The Big Idea: As Christians, we have reasons for happiness and celebration that are beyond our circumstances.

  • Anticipation brings joy, but also expectations.
  • Expectation, many times, is not met.
  • Celebration is something we can do, despite shattered expectations.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching, was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged or confused you?

My Story: American culture creates the expectation that to be happy you absolutely need X, Y and Z. In what ways or areas do we fall into this mindset at times? Is it easier or harder for you to resist that mindset during the holidays?

Discussion Questions

1) If you were in Mary’s shoes and received the news she gets in Luke 1:32, what expectations do you think you would have for your life? Future? Family?

2) Expectations can be a dangerous thing when they are not met, and they can put a negative filter on our view of events in life. Has this ever happened to you? In what practical ways can we avoid letting broken expectations cast a shadow on our view?

3) There are many promises and encouraging verses in scripture; are there any passages you can recall that speak to you most powerfully in this season of your life? Why is treasuring up and pondering God’s word so important in times of shattered expectations?

Taking it home: The idea of happiness, despite circumstances, is a fundamental idea in the Christian faith. The true test of this idea, however, is in the application of it in our lives. Take a moment to evaluate your three biggest trials right now in life. How are you handling them? Have you been able to apply Mary’s perspective to those trials?

NEWCOMERS RECEPTION

We want to extend a special welcome to visitors and guests, and we invite you to an informal reception immediately following our worship service. Please visit the Welcome Center to get church information and receive a special gift when you turn in a Communication Card.

AN UPDATE ON THE CLARK FAMILY

Many events have transpired over the past week. Pastor Jeff and Mary welcomed their first granddaughter, Alice Wren Schibi, into the world on Monday, December 3. Mom and baby are doing well. Pastor Jeff has also traveled to California to be with Mary, who fainted, fell and has been in the hospital, undergoing testing and monitoring. There was an email communication sent out this week with further details. Please continue to pray for the Clark and Schibi families, and contact an elder or church staff if you have needs during this time.

GIVING TREES

In the lobby, through Christmas, you will notice a display of Christmas trees with various paper tags on them. This year, we are partnering with Life’s Options to purchase gift cards and such that can be presented throughout the year in times of need, rather than a slew of toys at Christmas. Would you take a tag (or several) and consider giving in this very real and practical way to benefit these families? We our neighbors to feel Christ’s love in this season and beyond! We have also provided envelopes on the table by the trees so that you may return your gifts through the offering or directly to the church office.

WEBSITE NEWS

Our website upgrades are complete, and our new site has launched. Please take a moment to check out the new site! Thank you to the team who made this possible. The password for access to our online directory has changed. If you would like the new password, please indicate such on a Communication Card or contact the church office.

BAPTISM WEEKEND

Our next baptism weekend is scheduled for January 19/20. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the church office to discuss scheduling your pre-baptism interview. Interviews are scheduled for 4:00 PM on Saturday, January 5 and 12 and 3:00 PM on Sunday, January 6 and 13. You are only asked to attend one of these sessions.

WINTER FUN GROUPS

Are you into winter sports? Do you pray for snow? Have you felt a nudge from God to lead a fun small group this winter? Skiing, ice-skating and snowshoeing are a few ideas. Please talk to Eric Krajewski, our Director of Small Groups, about your idea!

WEDNESDAY NIGHT DINNER

Dinner is served at 5:30 PM on Wednesday nights, this week, our menu includes spaghetti, salad and dessert for $2.50/person or $10/family. All are welcome.

CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICES

Our Christmas Eve Candlelight services will be held at 3:30 PM and
5:00 PM, with childcare available in the nursery for ages 0-2. There will also be a special message time during services for children, as well. We would love to celebrate this special time with old and new friends. This is a great weekend to invite neighbors to find a home in Christ together!

MISSIONS MOMENT

John and Elaine Mehn (Japan): Pray for the church in Japan…they recently had a great conference and the Japanese churches are looking to unite in better ways as a community to support one another and multiply. Pray for the people of Japan to know Jesus.

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