When Heaven and Earth Collide

Worship Service for December 12, 2021

WELCOME

Good day, and welcome to the 3rd Sunday in Advent worship presentation.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Our monthly Community Meal is this coming Friday. If you would like to serve, please let Sandy Barnes know.

There are still a few opportunities to participate in our annual Christmas Adopt-a-Family program. Please call Annie Dean at (330) 807-8148 for more information.

CALL TO WORSHIP

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory. The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

Isaiah 9:1-7

OPENING WORSHIP SONGS

There’s a Song in the Air

Holland, Josiah G. / Harrington, Karl P.

There’s a song in the air!
There’s a star in the sky!
There’s a mother’s deep prayer,
And a baby’s low cry!
And the star rains its fire,
While the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem,
Cradles a King.

There’s a tumult of joy,
O’er the wonderful birth,
For the Virgin’s sweet boy,
Is the Lord of the earth.
Ay! The star rains its fire,
While the beautiful sing,
For the manger of Bethlehem
Cradles a King!

In the light of that star,
Lie the ages impearled!
And that song from afar,
Has swept over the world.
Every hearth is aflame,
And the beautiful sing
In the homes of the nations,
That Jesus is King!

We rejoice in the light,
And we echo the song
That comes down thro’ the night
From the heavenly throng.
Ay! We shout to the lovely
Evangel they bring.
And we greet in His cradle,
Our Savior and King.

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

Angels from the Realms of Glory

Montgomery, James/Smart, Henry T.

Angels from the realms of glory,
Wing your flight o’er all the earth;
Ye who sang creation’s story,
Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.
Come and worship,
Come and worship;
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Shepherds in the fields abiding,
Watching o’er your flocks by night;
God with man is now residing,
Yonder shines the infant Light.
Come and worship,
Come and worship;
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Sages, leave your contemplations,
Brighter visions beam afar;
Seek the great Desire of nations,
Ye have seen His natal star.
Come and worship,
Come and worship;
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

Saints, before the altar bending,
Watching long in hope and fear;
Suddenly the Lord, descending,
In His temple shall appear.
Come and worship,
Come and worship;
Worship Christ, the newborn King!

©Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, on this third Sunday of Advent, we thank You for the Word that reminds us again that in the midst of our darkness You sent us Your light. And He has become for us our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. And so with shepherds and angels, sages and saints, we have come to worship the one and only son who was born for us. May His light and life fill us to overflowing that it might spill out to others, for we ask this in Jesus’ precious Name, amen.

OFFERING

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 love Christmas because although we give all year round, Christmas is the special season of giving. At Christmas, we celebrate the gracious gift of God to us in Jesus Christ. And at Christmas we celebrate our ability to give as did God In Acts 20:35, Luke records Paul’s parting words to the church folk at Ephesus: “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

OFFERING/PRAYER SONG

The First Noel

The first Noel, the angel did say,
Was to certain poor shepherds,
In fields as they lay;
In fields where they
Lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night
That was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They look-ed up and saw a star
Shining in the east, beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Then let us all with one accord,
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord,
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with His blood mankind hath bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

Public Domain
CCLI License No. 1843349

MORNING PRAYER

Deborah Hummessar

Our Father who art in heaven, we thank You for coming to earth so You could redeem us. When we think of the extent to which You were willing to go in order to save us, it makes us want to shout, to celebrate, and to cry with thankfulness.

You love us so much, and we are so grateful for that love. Without You, we would still be lost and in sin. But because of everything You have done for us, we are free. We are eternally grateful to You for everything You have done on our behalf.

Father, when your precious Son became a tiny baby in a stable in Bethlehem in poverty and simplicity, you changed our world for the better. Help us as a church to accomplish what we are able to change our community for the better.

Loving Father, throughout this Christmas season, help us remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds, and worship of the wise men.

We pray this in Jesus’ name! Amen.

SCRIPTURE

In the beginning, the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God.

So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance, we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

John 1:1-18

MESSAGE

When Heaven and Earth Collide

Randy K’Meyer

Were you aware that yesterday a 1,082-foot wide asteroid as large as the Eiffel Tower blew past the earth at 14,000 mph in what NASA deemed a “potentially hazardous” near-earth object?

To put it in perspective, the asteroid that caused the Chelyabinsk explosion in 2013 that yielded 33 times as much energy as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima was only 66 feet wide. Multiply that by 16 and that’s what we would have experienced if yesterday’s object would have entered the atmosphere above Medina County.

For sure the prospect of the heavens and earth coming together makes for high drama; whether it takes place on a global level or in the Little Town of Bethlehem. For it was in the Little Town of Bethlehem that heaven and earth collided. “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). And the world hasn’t been the same since as the ripple effects have been reverberating around the planet for the last 2,000 and some years.

Maybe you recall when a 6-mile wide asteroid crashed into the Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago (lol), it caused massive tsunamis, planet-wide earthquakes, volcanoes, and scientists tell us that the earth was plunged into a darkness that lasted for several years after and brought death to the majority of life on the planet.

Not so, when heaven and earth came together at Bethlehem. Just the opposite occurred! Oh, to be sure, death and darkness still prevail over the planet, spiritually speaking. But when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, John, writing about it years later said, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5).

And that’s a good thing because we don’t like the dark.

Darkness elicits fear, fear of the boogeyman, fear of the unknown. How many of you would be willing to admit you sleep with the light on? Or that you still feel somewhat uncomfortable in the dark?

Some of us can blame it on our parents. I remember watching with my two younger brothers James Arness’ start as The Thing back in the mid-1950’s. It scared us to death; especially that dramatic scene at the end when the monster is fully revealed for the first time as he is walking toward the humans carrying an 8 foot long 4 x 6 in his left hand like it was a toothpick before they light him up with electricity. That scene was scary, but not as scary as the scene we saw later that night. Tom, Steve, and I shared the same little 10 by 10 bedroom and after we had been in bed for some time, our dad threw open our door mimicked the growl of The Thing, and stood in the doorway, waving a baseball bat like The Thing had. We were scared to death. And all we could scream was, “Turn on the light, turn on the light!” And once he did, we begged him not to turn it back out.

Light is always more powerful than darkness. I remember when my parents took us to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky and how the guide turned out all the lights, and you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. But one little match overpowered the darkness of that huge cave.

The world in which we live is engulfed in spiritual darkness, but when heaven and earth collided in Bethlehem, the light that all people truly yearn for began to radiate.

Isaiah predicted it: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light. On those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned.” And Jesus fulfilled it 700 years later when the light began to shine in the darkness.

A little lad was in a Christmas program and his mom feared he might forget his lines, so she positioned herself on the front row to prompt him. Sure enough, when it was his turn to speak, he forgot his line. So she mouthed the words, but to no avail, his mind was completely blank. Finally, she leaned in and whispered the cue, “I am the light of the world.”
The child beamed and with great feeling belted out, “My mother is the light of the world!”

No, Jesus is the light of the world! God stepped into the crisis of darkness and turned the light on!

Once an artist was painting a dark winter scene. He started with snow-covered ground and pine trees. Then the artist’s hand brought the day to a close and night fell on the canvas, and the entire scene was covered with semi-darkness. He painted a grim log cabin that was barely visible in the shadows. Then the artist made a dramatic decision that changed the entire scene: He dipped his brush in the yellow paint of his pallet, and with a few quick strokes placed in one of the cabin windows the warm glow of a lamp. Then he finished the painting with the gold rays of the lamp radiating across the freshly fallen snow. The advent of light totally changed the tone of the picture, replacing the gloomy chilled darkness with a warm and secure home.

What happened on that canvas happened two thousand years ago on the world’s canvas when a helpless infant came into a grim and dark world, shining light across the barren landscape and offering all the hope of eternal warmth and security.

And what happened on that canvas has also happened in our lives.

Yes, heaven and earth still collide at Christmas today. The collision takes place in the human heart when we choose to accept the gift of love and grace in Christ.

My friends at CrossPointe Community Church, when we chose Jesus, heaven and earth collided in our hearts yielding the light of life.

And now that it has, we have another choice to make. And that is whether or not we will allow Him to shine the light of His love through us into the dark places that surround us.

I know this pandemic has brought a certain shade of darkness to all of our lives, as it has interfered with our ability to be with people; friends, and especially family.

And it has put a damper on the church. Worship attendance in the church across the nation has taken a huge hit. Many are saying it will never return to normal. In addition to worship, many churches have put ministries that require gathering on hold. We too have been patiently waiting for this thing to be over. But it’s not over and this might be the new normal.

So it’s time to rethink the way we do church. We have to find new ways to bring the light of Christ to people who need it. It is my goal for 2022 to do just that!

I know I have been talking about retiring; first last January, then in order to provide stability through this pandemic I delayed it and talked about going out this coming March. I recently had a meeting with our leaders and told them I would be willing to stay throughout the coming year if they would be willing to give me a few more Sundays off so that I could spend more time traveling to see our children and grandchildren. And they were so kind to allow me up to 15 Sundays in the coming year; not that I will take that many.

But I want to let you know that I am not nor will I ever be a lame-duck pastor. I am not about to take my foot off the gas! I am about to put the pedal to the metal! I am not going to go quietly!

I am going to go where God leads. I want to find new creative ways to reach people for Christ. There are too many people sitting in darkness in our community that need to be exposed to the light of Christ. And I am going to do what I can to reach folks.

And I would very much like it if you all came with me!

I need you all to join me in bringing about revival in Chippewa Lake in 2022! Over the last 10 years, we have been sharing God’s grace with our community in a number of marvelous ways! But the way I see it we have been setting the table for the feast yet to come.

You say what can I do? And I say the most important thing all of us can and must do is PRAY! Every great revival in church history was preceded by and bathed in prayer. Pray for our leaders. Pray that our leaders will come up with some new and creative ways to share God’s grace with our community. And pray that the folks still sitting in the darkness will see the light through us.

And then, I am reminding you that all of us can participate in Each One Reach One, the idea that I hatched last Easter whereby I asked each one of us to write down the names of one or more persons we would like to see reached for Christ’s sake and begin to pray for them with the eventual goal to either invite them to worship or share our faith with them so that they might come to the light.

The story is told of a little orphan girl who was shivering her way along the main street in one of our great cities. Seeing the beautiful lights of a church and hearing the music coming from within, she went in and warmed herself as she listened. The preacher’s text was, “I am the light of the world.” At the close of the service, she went to the minister and said, “Did you say you are the light of the world, sir?”
The minister replied, “Oh no, dear child; Jesus is the light of the world, and I am only one of His lights.”
The little lass looked at him for a moment, and then solemnly said, “Well, sir, I wish you would come down and hang out in our alley, ‘cause it’s awful dark down there!” 1

I don’t think we have any alleyways in Chippewa Lake, but many people in our backyard feel stuck, hopeless, and headed nowhere. And we have the message of Jesus which has the potential to change lives. It doesn’t matter who the person is, where they live, what they’ve done, or what their religious background is: the message of hope is still found in Christ, and it is He who changes lives!

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12)

Let us follow in the footsteps of the lowly shepherds who were present when heaven and earth collided at Bethlehem. The Bible says, “When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them”
(Luke 2:17).

Jacob Walker was a lighthouse keeper on Robbins’ Reef off the shore of New Jersey. After years of faithful service of minding the light, he caught a cold that went into pneumonia that rapidly grew worse and he died. His wife had him buried on a nearby hillside in plain view of the lighthouse. Then she applied for and received the appointment as the keeper of the light. For twenty years she carried on until an NYC reporter went out to get her story. In the course of the interview, she told him: “Every evening I stand in the door of the lighthouse and look across the water to the hillside where my husband lies. I can still hear him saying, as he often did when he was alive, ‘Mind the light! Mind the light! Mind the light!’ 2

From the troubled waters and the crashing breakers of our time there comes a voice to us. It belongs to the light of the world imploring His followers to similarly, “Mind the light! Mind the light! Mind the light!”

The restless millions wait the Light
Whose dawning maketh all things new.
Christ also waits, but men are slow and few.
Have we done all we could? Have I? Have you? 3

PRAYER IN RESPONSE TO THE MESSAGE

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

CLOSING SONG

Go Tell It On the Mountain

Work, John W.

Down in a lowly manger,
The humble Christ was born;
And brought us God’s salvation,
That blessed Christmas morn.

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

While shepherds kept their watching,
O’er silent flocks by night
Behold throughout the heavens,
There shone a holy light.

Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

The shepherds feared and trembled,
When lo above the earth;
Rang out the angel chorus,
That hailed our Savior’s birth.
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

When I was a seeker,
I sought both night and day;
I asked the Lord to help me,
And He showed me the way.
Go tell it on the mountain,
Over the hills and everywhere;
Go tell it on the mountain,
That Jesus Christ is born.

©Public Domain
CCLI License 1843349

BENEDICTION

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Ephesians 3:20-21

1 Light Sermon Illustrations (moreillustrations.com)

2 Christian Observer. http://www.moreillustrations.com/Illustrations/light%201.html

3 Mary Lindow, His Kingdom Prophecy
https://www.hiskingdomprophecy.com/millions-wait-for-the-light/

Randy K'Meyer

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