Imagine Hope This Christmas
Posted on Dec 22, 2016 in Faith Updates
I have been struck the past two days with this question: Does God imagine, and if so, what should we imagine?
I can understand why you might quickly say, “No, God does not imagine. God is the truth. Our faith is based on truth.” But then why did Jesus tell parables? Isn’t a parable an invitation to imagine? Jesus was fully God, he knew the parables were stories. Did Jesus too imagine the images of those parables? If Jesus imagined and Jesus is God then doesn’t God have an imagination? Could it possibly be part of our image-bearing nature to imagine?
And what about hope? Doesn’t the very nature of hope compel us to imagine God’s desired future? Brandon J. O’Brien, in writing for Christianity Today wrote:
When the biblical writers call us to faith, they are calling us to…foster an active imagination that can see what God sees. When the prophets looked around them, they too saw injustice, sin, and unrighteousness. The rational response to this sort of experience is despair. But the prophets called the people—and us—to hope. A constant refrain of the prophets is a summons to imagine a godly future. “The day is coming,” they said again and again, a day when injustice will be judged, when evil will be put right, when exploitation will cease, when God’s faithful people will experience the deliverance they have hoped for—hoped against experience.
And maybe angels imagine too! Could it possibly be the angels sang before the shepherds on that first Christmas day because they too had been living in the hope of “The day is coming.” Then when the Christ-child was born, they couldn’t help but burst into song because all they’d imagined was now coming true! Their “Glory to God in the highest…” burst forth because the day had now come! God’s imagined future had now become a reality!
This Christmas is an invitation to imagine, is it not? Together this Saturday at our Christmas Eve services (2:00 and 4:00 PM) and Sunday morning at our Christmas service (10:15 AM) we will imagine once again Bethlehem, Mary, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, and the infant Jesus. But let’s not stop imagining there! Let’s imagine God’s desired future coming alive in newborn faith for all who imagine this story once again. Will you join me in prayer over these next few days praying with faith-filled imaginations for lives changed for eternity as we once again find ourselves at the manger?
Here’s What’s Happening at Faith
A Faith Merry Christmas Eve (and Christmas)
Christmas Eve is a great opportunity to invite your family and friends to Faith Covenant Church! Together and with great creativity, we will celebrate the good news of the Savior’s birth, and God’s love for our world. Join us Christmas Eve at 2pm or 4pm, and then join us Sunday morning for a simple Christmas Day service at 10:15am in the Legacy Chapel.
All Church Tubing at Buck Hill
Come for some wintry, family fun at Buck Hill, Wednesday, January 11, 6:30-8:30pm. It’s $8 per person if you pay ahead – sign up on Sunday, January 8 in the lobby or stop in to the front office during the week. It will be $12 each the day of the event at Buck Hill. Get your name on the list now for a ticket! Children must be 5 years of age and 42” tall to tube. If you don’t wish to tube, but do want to join the fellowship, please come hang out in the chalet or at the fire pit and watch the sledders! Free!
Faith Covenant Men’s Breakfast
Gentlemen, Saturday morning, January 14, at 8:30am, we will be hosting a breakfast at Faith Covenant featuring Vince Miller from Resolute. Resolute is all about helping men become disciples and leaders who lead with conviction. Vince’s life story will both challenge and encourage you to live your life with godly conviction. Come hungry for the food, for the spiritual challenge, and for the brotherhood. Tickets are $5; rsvp HERE via the Resolute webpage.
Gospel of Mark Study
What’s unique about Mark’s gospel?
- that the author is anonymous (and likely not Mark)
- that it was written in Greek, intended for a gentile (non-Jewish) audience
- that it is believed to have been the first gospel account written.
There is so much to be learned in these pages-join us as we dive in together for a 13 week study of this amazing book! Study begins Sunday, January 15, 9am. Open to all…
Church Office Closed
Just a reminder over the holidays that Faith Covenant’s office will be closed Friday, December 23 through Monday, January 2. Any end of year giving that you wish to claim on your 2016 taxes would need to be mailed in with a postmark of December 31. God bless your holidays.
Winter Save the Dates
There are lots of plans being made for ministry and fellowship opportunities in January and other winter months that we don’t want you to miss! Watch for more details soon, but be sure to mark your calendars now for the following:
Women’s Ministry & Men’s Ministry Kick-offs – January 18
Small Group Leader Training – January 24 & 28
Identified by Love Class & Prayer: a Two Way Conversation Class – January 25
Small Group Launch – February 12
New Year’s Eve Lock-in & Concert
Senior high students: Let’s ring in the New Year together with a party celebrating the fact that God has given us another year. We will celebrate the New Year with a lock-in and a concert featuring Tru Serva and Fancy Babel. December 31, 8pm-8am! Make sure to invite your friends
Covenant World Relief is responding to the tragedy in Aleppo. You have likely heard the horrific news from Aleppo. Please join us by praying for those trapped in Aleppo and giving to support local partners who are responding in the midst of the crisis. Your gift will support emergency relief including food, water, blankets, and medical care. Click HERE to give.