Welcoming – Ernie Gutierrez
What I’d really like to give you for Christmas is a star…Brilliance in a package, something you could keep in the pocket of your jeans or in the pocket of your being. Something to take out in times of darkness…something that would remind you of what Christmas has always meant: God’s Advent Light into the darkness of this world. ~Ann Weems
Choral Anthem – Jesus, Oh What a Wonderful Child with O Come, All Ye Faithful
Choir Cantata – The Beautiful Star
Message – From Bedlam to Bethlehem ‐ Paster Dave
Offering – Pastor Ross
Choral Anthem – The First Christmas Gif with O Come, All Ye Faithful
Matthew 2:1-12 – New Revised Standard Version
1 In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, magi from the east came to Jerusalem,
2 asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star in the east and have come to pay him homage.”
3 When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him,
4 and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
5 They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it has been written by the prophet:
6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah, for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.’ ”
7 Then Herod secretly called for the magi and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared.
8 Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
9 When they had heard the king, they set out, and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen in the east, until it stopped over the place where the child was.
10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
11 On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.
Wise Men follow star to Bethlehem & find the joy of discovering the messiah. We can too. Our search & unexpected discoveries as we leave bedlam & receive gifts of God’s presence, strength & peace. God does not arrive while people are doing dramatic & glamorous work but during our ordinary, even chaotic, busy moments of life.
In search for peace of Bethlehem can come noise & confusion of the Bedlam of life. Wise Men walk thru bedlam on way in/out Bethlehem. The route to move from bedlam to Bethlehem is not a long journey. God took the first steps for us. God’s great purpose in Christmas was to draw near to us & reduce the distance, to put us within reach of God. In Christmas, God came in human life & stays near to our ordinary and even difficult experiences.