Worship Service for December 5, 2021


Good day, and welcome to the 2nd Sunday in Advent worship presentation.


Yes, here we are in sunny and 78 degrees Sarasota, Florida. And, yes, I am wearing one of my favorite Ohio State t-shirts. Sugar Bowl champs January 1, 2021. I wear it proudly even though the beloved bucks were thoroughly beaten by Michigan a week ago Saturday. My head is bloodied but it is not bowed for until my dying day, I will always be an Ohio State alum and supporter of the Buckeyes. And I say, “Congratulations to Larry Warner for being a loyal fan of the Wolverines.” We could all take a lesson from Larry about loyalty. I mean it takes a lot of faith to hang in there and support his team through the thick and thin of the last 20 years of college football’s greatest rivalry. But last Saturday, his faith was rewarded!

As you are viewing this, Gail and I are headed back north to wintry Ohio. We celebrated Thanksgiving with daughter, Sarah, and her family in Sunset Beach, North Carolina. From there we came to Sarasota to help celebrate the 4th birthday of grandson, Carson. We plan on arriving back in Medina County sometime Tuesday after stopping to celebrate grandson, Matthew’s 20th birthday. Wow; that’s a lot of celebrating. We are grateful!

We are also grateful that we can take a trip like this knowing that the worship service is in good hands in Chippewa Lake. Thanks to Annie for arranging and announcing our Adopt-a-Family intentions, and for leading the communion portion of today’s worship service. Thanks, as always to the singers and musicians for using their gifts to help us worship the Lord with gladness and joy. And thanks to Robyn Tresch and Phil Strauss for leading us in prayer.

I will be delivering a Christmas/Communion meditation a little later. Thanks to Lindsay for receiving these video files and making them available to you. For now, I will turn it over to Annie Dean for an announcement about our Christmas Adopt-a-Family Program. (For you readers, please see last Wednesday’s e-mail which contains an attachment with this information).


All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call Him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’).

Isaiah 7:14

All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’”

Matthew 1:22-23


O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Neale, John M./Coffin, Henry S./Helmore, Thomas

O come, O come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Desire of nations bind,
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel,
Shall come to thee, O Israel!

©Public Domain
CCLI No. 1843349

Crown Him King of Kings

Damazio, Sharon

Crown Him King of kings
Crown Him Lord of lords
Wonderful, Counselor,
The Mighty God.
Emmanuel, God is with us.
And He shall reign,
He shall reign,
He shall reign forevermore.

Crown Him King of kings
Crown Him Lord of lords
Wonderful, Counselor,
The Mighty God.

Emmanuel, God is with us.
And He shall reign,
He shall reign,
He shall reign forevermore.

©1990 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music (c/o Integrity Music, Inc.)
CCLI License No. 1843349


McGee, Bob

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
His name is called Emmanuel.
God with us, revealed in us,
His name is called Emmanuel.

Emmanuel, Emmanuel,
His name is called Emmanuel.
God with us, revealed in us,
His name is called Emmanuel.

©1976 C.A. Music (a div. of Christian Artists Corp [admin. by Music Services])
CCLI License No. 1843349


O Lord, our God, as today we celebrate both Christmas and Communion, we humbly ask that You would pour out Your Spirit upon us that we might reopen our eyes to the enormity of these divine acts in Jesus Christ, our Lord, in whose name we pray, amen.


If you would like to send your offering through the mail, our mailing address is:

CrossPointe Community Church
P O Box 126
Chippewa Lake, OH 44215

I thank God for you and for your continued faithfulness in giving to God’s Kingdom through His Church here at CrossPointe.


Away in a Manger

Luther, Martin / McFarland, John Thomas / Murray, James Ramsey

Away in a manger no crib for a bed;
The little Lord Jesus lay down His sweet head.
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay;
The little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay.
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.

©Public Domain
CCLI Licesnse No. 1843349


Lord, We thank You for loving us so much that You would leave Your realms of majestic glory to come dwell among us human beings. If it had not been for Your great love that compelled You to come and save us, we would still be lost in sin. Because You loved us so much, You were willing to come to this earth and purchase our salvation. You were born as a baby in Bethlehem, yet You always existed, and You came here with a definite plan to save us from an eternity separated from You. Thank You so much for coming, Lord.

That first Christmas, you gave us the gift of hope wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Be near us, Lord Jesus, we ask Thee to stay close by us forever, and love us, we pray. For there are times when the going gets rough. Grant us an ever greater awareness of Your presence that we might face the unknown future in the confidence that You will never forsake or fail us. Fill us with the sweetness of inward peace and goodwill, that we may join the heavenly host in singing praises to your glory; for we ask this in the name of the Savior, even Jesus, our Lord, amen.


On this Communion Sunday, I have chosen to read Luke’s account of Jesus participating in what is referred to as the last supper. Because we have both read, and heard these words read, many times, it is easy for us to lose our sense of appreciation for the life-changing significance of these words. So I encourage you to stop for a moment and paint yourself into this scene as a Jewish person who has been celebrating the Passover meal all your life.

Now the Festival of Unleavened Bread arrived, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John ahead and said, “Go and prepare the Passover meal, so we can eat it together.”
“Where do you want us to prepare it?” they asked Him.
He replied, “As soon as you enter Jerusalem, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” They went off to the city and found everything just as Jesus had said, and they prepared the Passover meal there.

When the time came, Jesus and the apostles sat down together at the table. Jesus said, “I have been very eager to eat this Passover meal with you before my suffering begins. For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”

Then He took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. Then He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves. For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”

Up to this point, everything about this Passover would have been normal to these disciples. But that’s about to dramatically change as the bread and wine of the Passover meal take on an entirely new meaning.

He took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Then He broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “This is My body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.”

After supper He took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with My blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you.

Luke 22:7-20

And just like that; the thousand-year-old covenant based around the Jewish sacrificial system has been supplanted by a brand new covenant whereby Jesus will become the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Today we are also reading from the Book of Hebrews. The recipients of this letter were enduring persecution because they were Christians. Many of them were former Jews and were being tempted to escape persecution by abandoning their faith in Christ and returning to practicing the Jewish faith. The author’s intent is to encourage them to hold fast to their faith in Christ. He does so by pointing out all the ways that being right with God through faith in Jesus is superior to being right with God by obeying the Jewish Law. In chapters 1 and 2, Jesus is superior to angels. In chapter 3, Jesus is superior to the prophet Moses. In chapter 4, the rest that Jesus provides is superior to the Sabbath rest. In chapters 5 through the first half of chapter 8, Jesus is our great high priest who is superior to the high priest of the Jewish faith. In the last half of chapter 8, the author begins to compare and contrast the old covenant to the New Covenant initiated by Jesus in the passage we just read from Luke.

The old system under the law of Moses was only a shadow, a dim preview of the good things to come, not the good things themselves. The sacrifices under that system were repeated again and again, year after year, but they were never able to provide perfect cleansing for those who came to worship. If they could have provided perfect cleansing, the sacrifices would have stopped, for the worshipers would have been purified once for all time, and their feelings of guilt would have disappeared. But instead, those sacrifices actually reminded them of their sins year after year. For it is not possible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. That is why, when Christ came into the world, He said to God,

You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings.
But you have given Me a body to offer.
You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin.
Then I said, ‘Look, I have come to do your will, O God;
as is written about Me in the Scriptures.’

First, Christ said, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings or burnt offerings or other offerings for sin, nor were you pleased with them” (though they are required by the law of Moses). Then He said, “Look, I have come to do your will.” He cancels the first covenant in order to put the second into effect. For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.

Hebrews 10:1-10


The Christmas Story According to Jesus

Randy K’Meyer

I recently came across a quote from Fred Craddock, who before he died, was known as the prince of preachers in America. One of his former students had written him to ask if it was okay to repeat a Christmas sermon previously given. And Dr. Craddock replied, “If a Christmas sermon isn’t worth preaching twice, it probably wasn’t worth preaching once in the first place.”

I have an intriguing sermon title and scriptural outline that I first used way back in 1997 and then 3 or 4 more times since. But you know how as we get older, our perspective and our thoughts age like a fine wine? So this version of that message is not only different but also, more refined.

With that in mind, have you ever read “The Christmas Story According to Jesus?”

I’m not speaking about the awesome way the beloved disciple, John, succinctly conveys the theological nature of the Christmas story. I mean, could there be a more eloquent way to sum up the good news than, “the word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth” (1:14)?

And we love the fact that Luke took the time to seek out and get the story from Mary about how her son was born in Bethlehem, placed in a manger and attended by shepherds and an angel choir.

Last Sunday, Jim Brandenburg read the Christmas story according to Matthew, who told it from Joseph’s perspective; and Paul’s version from Galatians 4:4 “When the fullness of time had finally come, God sent for His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law in order that He might redeem those under the curse of the Law.”

But wouldn’t it be cool if we could hear the amazing story from the standpoint of Jesus Himself? After all, the whole thing revolves around Him doesn’t it? Seems like He ought to have His say. But how could he, we ask, He was just a baby.

And the answer is, through the Spirit working with the Word, Jesus speaks. The Christmas story according to Jesus can be found not in any of the four gospels, but in the passage we just read in the letter to the Hebrews.

Did you catch what Jesus had to say about the Christmas story there?

When Christ came into the world, He said to God, ‘You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given Me a body to offer. You were not pleased with burnt offerings or other offerings for sin. Then I said, Look, I have come to do your will, O God; as is written about me in the Scriptures.’

Hebrews 10:5-7

There we have it; the Christmas story from the point of view of Jesus Himself.

What’d you think? Were you surprised that He didn’t mention his mother riding that donkey all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem? Disappointed He didn’t talk about the shepherds or the angel choir or even mention the wise guys from the east. And what about that star? Doggone it, for centuries everybody and his brother have been speculating about the nature of that Christmas star.

But all of this shouldn’t surprise us. Jesus never was one to beat around the bush. He was mostly a straight-to-the-point kind of guy.

So what is it that Jesus would have us to know about this Christmas story?

Well, first, Jesus wants us to know that He was given a body.

You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given Me a body to offer.

Hebrews 10:5

Theologians refer to it with one of those fancy t. i. o. n. words: ‘incarnation.’
God becoming flesh. As John had it, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

Because we are egocentric, when we think of the incarnation, we think of it in terms of how it affects us. But did you ever stop to think of how the incarnation affected the Son of God?

The brilliant C. S. Lewis did and in a radio address, illustrated the incarnation this way:

Lying at your feet is your dog. Imagine, for the moment, that your dog and every dog is in deep distress. Some of us love dogs very much. If it would help all the dogs in the world to become like men, would you be willing to become a dog? Would you put down your human nature, leave your loved ones, your job, hobbies, your art and literature and music, and choose instead of the intimate communion with your beloved, the poor substitute of looking into your beloved’s face and wagging your tail, unable to smile or speak? Christ by becoming man limited the thing which to Him was the most precious thing in the world; his unhampered, unhindered communion with the Father.” 1

What wondrous love is this that the Son of God would give up His divine privilege of “unhindered communion with His Father” in an indescribable ‘spirit’ state of being in a beyond three-dimensional place we can only refer to as heaven, in order to fraternize with the likes of us on this lowly non-descript planet, earth?

What wondrous love is this?

One of my Chicken Soup for the Soul books tells of surgeon Richard Selzer who had to cut a nerve in a young woman’s cheek in order to remove a cancerous tumor. The result was that her mouth was permanently misshapen. Dr. Selzer was uncertain as to how her husband would respond to the change. Therefore, he was encouraged when the young man came in and was warm and caring to his wife, even joking about her new cute look. But when he saw what happened next, Dr. Selzer’s encouragement turned to awe. The young husband bent down towards his wife, twisted his lips to fit her crooked mouth, and gently kissed her. 2

In the incarnation, Jesus gave up so very, very much so that He could bend down, twist His lips and kiss the crooked lips of a world, misshapen by sin and despair, with His love and grace.

In the Christmas story according to Jesus, He wants us to know He was given a body.

Jesus also wants us to understand that He came into the world to do God’s will.

In verse 7 of the Christmas story according to Jesus, He says, “I have come to do your will, O God.”

And what was that will? Well, the passage is pretty clear about that; “For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time” (10:10).

In other words, He was born to die!

I don’t know why it is, but we often lose a sense of that purpose in re-telling the Christmas story. We focus so much on the birth of the baby and on the sentiment that goes with it that we tend to miss the most important thing! The Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God was born into this world for the singular purpose of dying so that through our faith in that act upon the cross we could be made right with God.

This very Christmas idea that Jesus was born to die is further explained here in verse 7 “I have come to do Your will, O God as it is written about me in the scriptures.”

What scriptures? The scriptures of the Old Testament of course.

There are many scriptures in the Old Testament that speak of the coming of Christ, but in this context, most Bible scholars would first point to Psalm 22, a Messianic Psalm, of which I will read just part:

Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
‘Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him’ (7-8)

My life is poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax, melting within me.
My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and feet (14-16).

Then, most would also point to that awe-inspiring 53rd chapter of Isaiah; again in part:

But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.
All of us, like sheep, have strayed away;
we have left God’s paths to follow our own.
Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all” (5-6).

“He had done no wrong and had never deceived anyone.
But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man’s grave.
But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush him and cause him grief.
Yet when his life is made an offering for sin,
he will have many descendants” (9-10).

The New Testament writers confirm these Old Testament truths that He was born with the purpose to die. Matthew tells us that the angel said to Joseph, “You will name Him Jesus for He will save His people from their sins” (1:21)
And Luke says the angels told the shepherds about the birth of “The Savior” (2:11).

In the Christmas story according to Jesus, there is an inseparable link between the cradle and the cross!

This truth was impressed upon me in a dramatic way on my first trip to Israel in 1989. We got up early one morning in Jerusalem, got on our tour bus, made our way 6 miles south to the little town of Bethlehem, where we visited the place of Jesus’ birth. When we came out of the Church of the Nativity, our guide, Zwe, took us to one side of the great courtyard that guards the entrance to the church and on this perfectly clear day, pointed to a hill in the distance and asked, “Can you make out Mt. Zion? That’s the hill just outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified.”

While we pondered the close proximity of the two most dramatic and important events in human and world history, Zwe commented, “It was a short distance from the cradle to the cross.”

Or as the author of Hebrews writes in Chapter 2:

Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could He die, and only by dying could He break the power of the devil, who had the power of death. Only in this way (only in this way, only in this way) could He set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying” (14-15).

Lord, help us reclaim our sense of wonder and awe!

Because the truth of the matter is this Christmas story according to Jesus is really, what should we say, fantastic, incredible, unbelievable? Who among us in our wildest imagination would have ever been able to dream up a scenario like this?

I mean, it’s not too difficult to believe that there is a God. And although we cannot prove it scientifically, we can handle the Bible truth that God created the universe out of nothing. We don’t have too much trouble accepting the Bible evidence that this God also pulled off miracles: the plagues on Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea.

But this; that the living God entered into the world of creation, and did so as a baby? Have you ever heard anything so utterly fantastic?

Philip Yancey in his book, Disappointment with God, wrote:

Imagine for a moment becoming a baby again: giving up language and muscle coordination, and the ability to eat solid food and control your bladder. God as a fetus! Or imagine yourself becoming a sea slug – that analogy is probably closer. On that day in Bethlehem, the Maker of All that is took form as a helpless, dependent newborn.” 3

Unbelievable . . . incredibly unbelievable!

O what wondrous love is this!

Some children were asked what love is. The responses were quite interesting and instructive for us adults. One said, “Love is when my mommy makes a cup of coffee for my daddy and takes a little taste before she gives it to him to make sure it tastes okay.”
Another said, “Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you’ve left him alone all day.”
And 7-year-old Bobby said, “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas
if you stop opening presents and listen.”

The implications of the Christmas story according to Jesus are staggering.

Of the many implications, I mention just one, that I pray will not only make Christmas more meaningful; but also, the sacrament of Holy Communion.

And that is, we human beings have been granted unbelievable dignity. God did not become an angel, God did not become a dog, God became a human being. God loves us so much that God became one of us . . . us!

Nabeel, a Muslim convert to Jesus Christ, had a Muslim friend named Sahar, who was attracted to parts of Christianity but couldn’t accept the idea of God becoming a human. One day she honestly asked, “How can you believe Jesus is God if he was born through the birth canal of a woman and had to use the bathroom? Aren’t these things beneath God?”
Nabeel asked her: “Sahar, let’s say that you are on your way to a very important ceremony and are dressed in your finest clothes. You are about to arrive when you see your daughter drowning in a pool of mud. What would you do? Let her drown and arrive looking dignified, or rescue her but arrive at the ceremony covered in mud?
“Of course, I would jump in the mud and save her.”
“Well, let’s say there were others with you. Would you send someone else to save her, or would you save her yourself?”
She responded, “If she is my daughter, how could I send anyone else? They would not love her like I do. I would go myself, definitely.”
Nabeel said, “If you, being human, love your daughter so much that you are willing to lay aside your dignity to save her, why can’t you believe God was willing to lay aside His dignity to save us?”

Nabeel later wrote, “The message of God’s selfless love, that God would go to all the trouble in order to lift us up overpowered her; she could no longer remain a Muslim, she accepted Jesus as her Savior.” 4

And I say that she then experienced the dignity that Paul wrote about in II Corinthians:

God made Him who knew no sin to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (5:21).

Singer/songwriter Graham Kendrick says it like this:

Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible,
Love indestructible in frailty appears.
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly,
Lifts our humanity to the heights of His throne.” 5

And 7-year-old Bobby said, “Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas
if you stop opening presents and listen.”


[I encourage you to pray as you feel led by the Spirit of God].


What Child is This?

Dix, William Chatterton

What Child is this, who laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Why lies He in such mean estate
Where ox and lamb are feeding?
Good Christian, fear for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear, shall pierce Him thro’,
The Cross be borne, for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings, salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

Raise, raise the song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing.
Haste, haste to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Lord God, Heavenly Father, we give thanks that in Your great mercy and compassion You allowed Your dear Son to become incarnate, and through Him redeemed us from sin and eternal death. O merciful God, open the depths of our souls that we may receive the immortality of our spirits through the new birth of your Son by the power of His body and precious blood; for He lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

The body of Christ, broken for you.

The blood of Christ, poured out for you.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by 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 us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil for Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever, amen.


Meekness And Majesty

Kendrick, Graham

Meekness and majesty, Manhood and Deity,
In perfect harmony, the Man who is God.
Lord of eternity, dwells in humanity,
Kneels in humility and washes our feet.

O what a mystery, Meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship…for this is your God.

Father’s pure radiance, perfect in innocence,
Yet learns obedience to death on a cross.
Suffering to give us life,
Conquering through sacrifice,
And as they crucify, prays, ‘Father, forgive.’

O what a mystery, Meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship…for this is your God.

Wisdom unsearchable, God the invisible,
Love indestructible in frailty appears.
Lord of infinity, stooping so tenderly,
Lifts our humanity to the heights of His throne.

O what a mystery, Meekness and majesty;
Bow down and worship…for this is your God.

©1986 Kingsway’s Thankyou Music (admin. by EMI Christian Music Publishing)
CCLI License No. 1843349


The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

II Thessalonians 3:18 (ESV)

1 (C. S. Lewis, introduction to On the Incarnation, by Athanasius the Great of Alexandria, trans. John Behr, Popular Patristics 44B [Yonkers, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2011], 14). https://illustrationideas.bible/on-the-incarnation/

2 Source: David McCullough, Trivialization of God (Nav Press, 1995),
pages 47-48

3 Philip Yancey, Disappointment with God, [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, © 1997].

4 Nabeel Qureshi, No God But One,
[Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2016)], Pages 100-101

5 © 1986 Thankyou Music (PRS), admin. worldwide by CapitolCMGPublishing.com excluding Europe which is admin. by Kingswaysongs