Below is the bulletin and a devotion you can use if you are unable to attend due to the cold.
Springdale United Methodist Church
December 18, 2016 Fourth Sunday of Advent
Lighting of the Advent Candle:
Watch and wait for Christ’s coming!
Light candles of hope, peace, joy, and love,
remembering the promises of God with prayer.
We light this candle in hope. Light the first candle.
We light this candle for peace. Light the second candle.
We light this candle in joy! Light the third (pink) candle.
We light this candle with love. Light the fourth candle.
Out of love for the people of God, the Lord speaks through the prophet Isaiah, as found in the seventh chapter, verses 10-14:
The LORD spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask a sign of the LORD your God; let it be deep as
Sheol or high as heaven. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, and I will not put the LORD to the
test. Then Isaiah said: “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary
mortals, that you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.
Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.
Let us pray.
God of hope, Prince of peace,
Jubilee Judge, and Lord of love,
your goodness is beyond our wildest imaginings.
You give us more than we can think to ask,
coming to us with impossible possibility
in the union of flesh and spirit.
Teach us to love this world and all people
as you love us in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
God of promise, God of hope,
into our darkness come.
*Song: To a Maid Engaged to Joseph 215
Lifting our hearts in prayer:
Joys and Concerns (Lord, hear our prayers)
The Lord’s Prayer:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Song: Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming 216
WE HEAR GOD’S WORD
Scripture Lessons: Matthew 1:18-25 NT 32
The Word of God for the People of God……Thanks be to God
Message: The Best Laid Plans
WE RESPOND TO GOD’S WORD
Song: Hark the Herald Angels Sing 240
Giving of Tithes and Gifts:
* Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow 95
Taking the Light into the World: We’ve a Story to Tell the Nations vs. 4 529
WE GO OUT TO SERVE
Dec 19 11AM Coffee and Devotions
Dec 22 ???6:30 Mental Illness Bible Study
Dec 24 11PM Christmas Eve Service
Dec 25 Christmas
9:00 Worship (no Sunday School)
Dec 26 2:30 Bingo at Crestview
Jan 8 11:45 C.O.M.E,
5 p.m. Game Night and Soup Cook Off
Jan 11 UMW
Jan 16 11 Coffee and Devotions
Jan 23 2:30 Bingo at Crestview
Jan 25 6:30 SPRC
7:00 Ad Board
Pastor Kimberly Bowles: cell: 319-929-8716; firstname.lastname@example.org
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/SpringdaleUMC
Join our blog at
Christian radio stations: 89.3, 98.9, 99.1, 101.9
Please pray this week for:
Those that do not have a relationship with God
Those that don’t realize they need God’s mercy
Those that have forgotten what home means
Those that long for a deep relationship
Current elected officials
Incoming elected officials
Those that are homeless
Those that are alone on the holidays
Those that are traveling
Those dealing with illnesses during the holidays
Those that feel broken
Those that feel unworthy
Those that don’t recognize God’s graceful
Question of the week: What are you doing to prepare your heart for the reign of God that will soon be born in a manger? Are you ready for an EXPERIENCE?
“Christmas has lost its meaning for us because we have lost the spirit of expectancy. We cannot prepare for an observance. We must prepare for an EXPERIENCE.” -Handel Brown
Matthew 1:18-25 (NRSV)
The Birth of Jesus the Messiah
18 Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah[a] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. 20 But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,”
which means, “God is with us.” 24 When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife, 25 but had no marital relations with her until she had borne a son;[b] and he named him Jesus.
The website For a Sane Faith (http://www.integrity-authenticity-love.com) has some great devotions on it. Here are a couple for today’s scripture followed by some questions I’d like you to think about or discuss with others.
“Friday, December 19, 2014 “You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
Recent heavy rains had saturated the ground. Mudslide and flash flood warnings were being flashed on the television and radio stations. Julio and Ernesto were aware of the warnings but didn’t think that anything would happen during the ten minute drive from their work on their home. They were driving across a bridge over what usually was a small creek. The creek was swollen; overflowing its banks. While they were on the bridge, a wall of water washed over the bridge and swept their car into the stream. Seconds later and about one hundred yards downstream their car jammed against a large uprooted tree. Julio and Ernesto hung on to the car and waited for help to arrive.
A driver behind them had seen Julio and Ernesto washed into the creek and had called 911. Within minutes the fire department was on the scene. It took forty minutes for the crew to pull the two men to the safety of dry land. After a quick exam by the paramedic, Julio and Ernesto thanked their rescuers and were given a ride to their home. Over dinner that evening the men recounted their ordeal. In a somber mood, Julio reflected, “We were saved from the rushing water, but I wonder what we were saved for?”
We are never merely saved from something. We are also saved for something. Jesus came to save us from our sins, but that isn’t the entire story. Jesus also saved us so that we could be his disciples, have a fresh, new relationship with God and live to serve God and others rather than concentrating on our own wants and desires. We give thanks that Jesus has saved us from our sins, but we also continue our thanksgiving for the life Jesus has saved us for.
Beautiful Savior, thank you for saving us. Help us to be open to all for which that you have saved us. Amen. Saturday, December 20, 2014 “All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken” (Matthew 1:22).
Jeremy wanted to build a tree house for his two children. A massive oak tree dominated the backyard of the family’s home that would be perfect for a tree house. Jeremy headed out early on Saturday morning and purchased some lumber and nails. In less than an hour, Jeremy was sawing wood and pounding nails. He had the love to begin the task and the enthusiasm to carry it out. The one things Jeremy lacked was a plan. By the end of the day, Jeremy had built a structure that was neither pleasing to the eye nor particularly safe.
Matthew wanted to let his readers know that God had a plan and that the birth of Jesus was part of the plan. The events that occurred those months before the first Christmas morning were not like a razzle-dazzle football play. It wasn’t a hastily drawn up “Plan ‘B’”. This was a plan that was reveled hundreds of years previously in the words of the prophets, and devised before the beginning of time.
We worship the creator of the universe. That creation follows specific laws—a plan, if you will. Each and every one of us is a part of that plan. Realizing this our primary question in life should not be, “What do I want to do?” but rather, “What
does God want me to do?” and “How do I fit in to God’s plan?”
Creator God, you have created us for a purpose. Reveal this purpose to us, and empower us to accomplish the tasks you set before us. Amen. Sunday, December 21, 2014 “He did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Matthew 1:24).
Obedience is a prized quality in life. Parents long for it in their children. Employers expect it in their employees. The military demands it in its soldiers. Production in the country’s industries would be brought to a standstill if there was no obedience, and battles would not be won if soldiers didn’t obey the orders of their commanders.
Obedience is a prize quality of disciples of Jesus Christ, too. Joseph demonstrated that quality. When we awoke he didn’t question the validity of the dream or whether or not it was the right thing to do. Rather, Joseph simply did what the angel of the Lord commanded him.
Where is the Spirit of the Lord leading us? Undoubtedly it is out of our comfort zone and will tax our skills and challenge us to exceed the expectations that we have for ourselves. Jesus did not allow second thoughts to prevent him from issuing the invitation, “Follow me,” to the first disciples. They dropped everything and obediently followed Jesus. So do we, knowing that Jesus leads us and the Spirit empowers us.
Gracious Lord, walk before us to lead us, behind us to encourage us and beside us to comfort us as we obediently follow you. Amen.”
What does it mean to be called by God?
How have you experienced God calling you?
How do we know if it is really God calling us?
To what has God called you?
What are you willing to give up in order to follow God?
How does God call to a community?
To what is God calling our church?