Dear Congregational Family,
1. Christmas Worship Services: These are always such beautiful services at Ruthfred! Bring a friend with you as well. So many people want to experience a traditional Christmas candlelight service on Christmas Eve and we have one of the best! (We will have plenty of space and candles!)
a. Christmas Eve: We are looking forward to having our three regular Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship Services at 5:00pm, 7:00pm, and 9:00pm.
The Christmas Eve 7:00pm service will also be livestreamed. As with all of our livestreamed services, it will continue to be available on our website at any future time as well.
b. Christmas Day: Our Christmas Day Worship Service at 10:00am with Holy Communion.
2. Christmas preparations: It has been a delight to see the unfolding beauty of our sanctuary as it is prepared for Christmas Eve/Day Worship Services! Special thank you to the Altar Guild and to Brian for all of their extra work on this! (see pictures below)
3. Christmas hymns are full of rich theological truths. Most of the time, we sing them without giving enough attention to the words and meanings! During the course of the Advent/Christmas Season, I try to have our congregation sing all of the beloved traditional hymns. I encourage you to spend time thinking (praying) through the words of them as well. One which has always stood out to me because of its simplistic beauty is “O Holy Night”. A particular phrase always sticks in my mind: “the soul felt its worth”.
What does this mean? It references the fact that our soul is of eternal worth and value. But because of sin, our soul was darkened, bound by sin’s curse, and spiritually dead. In fact, “long lay the world in sin and error pining”. BUT, Jesus who is the Light of the world, appears and pierces the darkness of our world. He comes to us in His birth at Bethlehem. His incarnation and birth among us, brings the “thrill of hope” and our “weary soul rejoices”.
Our soul always knew it existed for more than just the sin-cursed life of our present world! In Ecclesiastes 3:11, God tells us that “He has put eternity in our hearts”. Our soul knew it was created for a relationship with God our Creator Himself! What is our soul worth to God? What will He give to reconcile us to Himself? It is worth the sacrifice of His Son. When Jesus appeared, He upheld the worth of our soul. When He comes to us, our soul comes to life and finally feels it’s true God-given worth again. The experience of this new life of the soul, leads us to “fall on our knees” and worship Christ as the song continues, and then it moves from the adoration of worship to the action of witness in the following verses as this new life of the soul is shared with others.
“O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!
4. Space & Grace: As we worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and celebrate His birth and coming to us in love; let us continue to love one another and to give “space and grace” to all throughout this time.
5. Youth Christmas Special: This was a wonderful event! If you missed it, you can still view it online at www.ruthfred.org as well as on our church YouTube and Facebook pages. Thank you David Compel for organizing this and putting it all together! What an ongoing blessing to so many!
6. Sermon: Title: “The SON of David; Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World” (Christmas Eve)
Text: Matthew 1:1,18-25; Luke 2:1-20
Title: “The Son appears in Glory” (Christmas Day)
Text: Luke 2:1-14
God bless you this Christmas Season as we continue,
“Growing Together in our Faith as the Family of God!”