Snow Day

What did you do last Sunday morning; other than stay in your jammies and look out the window at the ice covered roads? I listened to two Christmas sermons by a couple of our Timothies.

I found the first one by googling “Life Point Church”, but had to add “Quincy” because there are a lot of Life Points. Google took me to and I was able to actually see and hear Brett preach a great sermon on the scandalous nature of Christ’s lineage, and how His coming addresses the scandals in our life.

When I couldn’t remember what the “Point” was at Jared’s church, Marilyn told me it was Bridge Point. Typing in “Bridge Point Providence” got me to and I was able to listen to another great Christmas sermon. Jared’s message was “Thrilled or Threatened” and contrasted the reaction of the Three Kings and King Herod to the coming of Christ. He pointed out that in some respects Herod’s reaction showed a better understanding of the life-changing implications of Christ’s coming.

I would highly recommend that you check out the websites of our Timothies. And of course you can always go to our website at to hear a sermon you missed, or to find out what’s happening if your church paper gets lost in the mail. In fact, if you want to read what I was going to say last week, “For a Merry Christmas”, you can find the transcript on our website. Or you can pick up a copy this Sunday. I’ve been planning on Philippians 2:3-4 being my Christmas text for months now, and so it shall be. Unless of course the forecast once again changes, and heavy snow comes rolling in.

And of course I hope weather doesn’t interfere with our Christmas Eve Service scheduled for 7:00. Since we didn’t get to go Christmas caroling last Sunday we’re planning to include congregational carols in the service, along with two solos, two duets, and our traditional candle-light communion service.

Lord willing, we’ll celebrate Christmas together this Saturday and Sunday.

God Bless, Rick

On Christmas music

Last Monday, Mark asked if we had sung “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” on Sunday. I really couldn’t remember, and asked why he had asked. He informed me that I had been whistling it since I had come into the office.

Isn’t it wonderful the way Christmas music sticks in our heads this time of year? Even unexpected music.

I awoke this morning with visions of three highly painted Egyptian maidens singing to Mary, “We could tell, my dear, yo’ not from here: Ev’ry word you say gives you away. Shut my mouth, yo’ not from the South! Why, of course, yo’ from the North!” Fortunately that catchy little ditty was soon replaced in my head by the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

If you weren’t at the community Christmas celebration at the high school Sunday afternoon, you missed an amazing presentation of the “Hallelujah Chorus” being sung by what appeared to be nearly 200 Jr. High students. It was absolutely beautiful, and especially meaningful since it was being sung in a public school. Gina Swickard is to be applauded for introducing her students to not only one of the most beautiful choruses ever written, but for having the courage to present it in our high school auditorium.

And if there are Christmas carols trying to burst out from the recesses of your mind, you can “let it go” this Sunday evening. At 5:30 we will load into the van and cars to take Christmas carols into the homes of our seniors. I have to admit that sounds funny coming from a “senior” pastor, but “senior” seems to be determined on a sliding scale. If we don’t come to your home this Sunday, apparently you haven’t made it to “senior” yet.

And one more opportunity to share the music of Christmas. I’ve heard from several that they will be sharing their talents with us on Christmas Eve, but there is still room for more. Please let me know ASAP what you are willing to do, and the title of what you will be presenting, so we can put a bulletin together for the evening.

God Bless, Rick

On Communion meditations

If you grew up in a Christian Church, you are no doubt aware that there are very few passages of Scripture that make direct reference to the Lord’s Supper. In fact there are only five that I could find this morning: three in the Gospels and two in I Corinthians.

While growing up I regularly heard one of those passages read by an elder in his communion meditation. There is obviously nothing wrong with reading one of those passages for a communion meditation, but I love the fact that we hear so much more around the Table of our Lord at CCC.

I was recently reminded of the variety we enjoy by a request from David Zimmerman. Dave was talking with some leaders of the church he’s a part of in Branson about the way we do communion, and they were having a hard time understanding the scope of our meditations. He asked that I send him copies of some that had been published in our weekly newsletter.

As you are aware, I occasionally include copies of a meditation we heard on Sunday for further reflection mid-week. I realize I risk offending some by not printing every meditation, but I’m confident everyone understands that while all do merit publication, I can’t print them all.

In looking through last year’s papers for Dave I was taken again by the variety of thoughts that lead us to focus on the cross each Lord’s Day. Last year an expectant father led us to think about adequate preparation for a big event, we learned about the nature of light as we focused on the Light of the World, we noted how the excited expression “nailed it” during a game could be used as a teachable moment, and we were led to think about what makes a man righteous by reflecting on a righteous democracy. Last Sunday Bill explored the meaning of “substitute” and led us to understand substitution is what Christ did for us on the cross.

I’m very thankful for the men who give considerable thought to Christ’s presence in our life and worship, and direct us so effectively to His sacrifice on our behalf each Sunday.

God Bless, Rick