2016 Christmas Worship Guide

A Father's love for his children; a Father's love for you through His Son
By Michael Mallick, preaching minister Jefferson Street Christian Church

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[December 23, 2016]  A couple of years ago I preached a sermon series called, “Finding Your Way Back to God.” In that series I used an illustration (and video clip) of Derek Redmond from the 1992 Olympic games held in Barcelona.

Derek Redmond, from Great Britain, was the favorite in the 400 meters and at the start of the race he was in command on his way to a gold medal. However, at the 200 meter mark (halfway through the race) his hamstring snapped. He stumbled, then fell to the ground, and later said it felt like a knife thrust into his leg. His trainer tried to pull him off the track, but he waved him away. And although the pain was unbearable and although all hope of winning was gone Derek Redmond slowly pulled himself up and began to hop on his good leg toward the finish line.

With the race now over, the attention of the 65,000 people in the stadium turned back to Redmond and they were stunned. They rose with a loud deafening cheer. It was a magical Olympic moment.

And then as Derek limped down the home stretch, a man with a ball cap that read “Just Do It” jumped out of the crowd and ran toward Redmond while being chased by security guards. It was Jim Redmond, Derek’s dad.

Jim came up to Derek, wrapped his arms around his son and whispered, “We started this race together; we’ll finish it together.” The father led his son to the finish line.

It is a powerful and inspiring story and many times when it is told it’s an illustration of perseverance, not quitting – and it is certainly that. However, it is the powerful story of Christmas.

That God, high up in heaven saw us – His children stumble and fall under the weight of sin. And because of His great love for us He could not stay where He was. He came down to earth to be with us in our pain – to pick us up and to help us to the finish line.

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Could you use a little of that kind of help in your life? Read Luke 2:1-7 and be reminded that at Christmas God came down to put His arm around your shoulder and help you to the finish line. Whatever your situation – whether you are hurting from the loss of a loved one, struggling from a broken relationship, or frustrated that life hasn’t gone your way – remember God loves you and whispers in your ear, “We started this race together; we’ll finish it together.”

Merry Christmas – and joy to the world because the Lord has come.

Read all the articles in our new
2016 Christmas Worship Guide

What would you expect in a Messiah Savior? 4
Finding the good stuff at Christmas 6
Where resides the Christmas spirit 8
A wordLESS Christmas 11
Christmas - God's reminder of miracles and hope! 13
God's Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven 16
"And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was stirred up saying, "Who is he?" 19
Jesus, the gift of God Incarnate 21
Our 'Worship Guide' 23
Ugly Christmas Sweater 24
A Father's love for his children; a Father's love for you through His Son 26
"Expectations!" 28
Church Worship Schedules 30

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