Happy Christmas Eve Monday, December 24, 2018 church!

December 24, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday and Happy Christmas Eve to all!  Yesterday was a great fourth Sunday of advent.  Nathan and Kelsey reminded us with the advent reading that Jesus is the promised One who will reign on David’s throne forever.  The worship team led us in praising the One who came from heaven to earth, the King of heaven and earth whom the world should receive.  The message reminded us that all who come to Jesus must come to Him in humility and worship just like the wise men came to Jesus.  We don’t want to be like Herod who approached Jesus with hostility and hatred, thinking he could stop the plan of God.  In the end, Herod was destroyed, Jesus was protected and God’s purposes prevailed, as they always will.  Herod learned that all who oppose God’s purposes will ultimately learn:  No one can thwart the will of God and be successful!  We also don’t want to be like the religious leaders and scholars in Jerusalem who heard about a possible coming of the Messiah and were completely apathetic and indifferent.  They simply pursued a philosophical and intellectual study of the things of God.  These supposed leaders and scholars would not even take a five mile trip to Bethlehem to investigate!  If you only study theology as some kind of philosophical or intellectual pursuit that won’t really change your life, you are wasting your time!  But we do want to be like the wise men who came great distances at great expense to worship the new born King!  When they found Jesus, just a small child then, they fell down on their faces before Him and worshiped!  May we approach Jesus with the same humility and worship as the wise men did.

I am looking forward to our Christmas Eve worship with many of you tonight at 5:00 PM.  What a joy it will be to worship King Jesus as we celebrate His first coming!

Have a Merry Christmas!  Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 17, 2018 church!

December 17, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all!  Yesterday we continued to think about the first coming of the Lord Jesus to earth.  Maria and Savannah reminded us of the loving kindness of our God through the advent reading.  The worship team lead us in singing of the coming of Emmanuel, God with us.  Then Luke’s account of the coming of the angel to Mary reminded us that the story of Christmas forever remains the story of the greatness of the only One providing salvation to the world, Jesus Christ.  We looked at the truth that Jesus was great inherently, in and of Himself.   His greatness is unqualified.  Jesus greatness manifested itself to us in that Jesus was given the greatest name, the name alone through which we can be saved.  Jesus greatness was manifested itself in that He has the greatest Father.  Jesus alone is the eternal Son of God.  Jesus greatness has manifested itself in that He has the greatest throne, heritage and reign.  Jesus will reign on the throne of David and His reign will last forever!  Jesus greatness manifested itself in that He has the greatest conception and birth.  Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of a virgin!  His conception and birth were totally unique.  No other conception and birth had ever happened like the conception and birth of Jesus before that time and nothing like it will ever happen again.  Those who deny the virgin birth deny the incarnation, that God became man in Jesus!  They deny Jesus is eternally God the Son.  They deny the very gospel itself.   Christmas is about the greatness of Jesus Christ.  Don’t reduce Christmas to merely presents and family and food.  Don’t even reduce it to the birth of a child, or the birth of someone who made a huge impact on the world.  Remember Christmas is about the Great One of the universe, the very Son of God Himself becoming Emmanuel, God with us, to do for us what we could not do for ourselves.  Jesus came to save us from our sin! 

I am looking forward to Sunday as we celebrate the 4th Sunday of advent and then to our Christmas Eve service next Monday evening at 5:00 PM.  There is always something special about worshipping Jesus with His children on Christmas Eve.  Invite someone important to you to worship with us on these days.

We need someone to volunteer for childcare during worship next Sunday, December 23 and on December 30.  Let me know if you can help.  We will not provide childcare for our Christmas Eve service.  We want even the little ones to be with their families.

Love being your pastor! 

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 10, 2018 church!

December 10, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday was a wonderful day of worship! Ron’s new song sung by our worship team reminded us to be prepared for whatever the Lord has for us. The first century world needed to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Messiah. We have to prepare ourselves for the Lord coming to us, working in and through our lives and we have to live prepared for Christ to come again. The message from Luke 2 reminded us that God often chooses the outcast of the world to move among. God often works in, for and through the outcast of the world to glorify His name. God chose the shepherds and the outcast of the first century, while the religious and the seemingly pious often were excluded. Jesus was knows as the friend of sinners and so should we, as His church, be known as friends of sinners. People often feel condemned by Christians instead of loved and accepted. We expect people to have Christian values before they meet Jesus. We have to love people and invite them into the presence of Jesus, so then they can be changed by His presence. My prayer for East Madison is that we will have the reputation of our Savior, that we are friends of sinners.

Don’t forget to be inviting family and friends to worship and especially to our Christmas Eve service this month. People are often more open to a gospel witness and invitations to churches during the Christmas season.

The Isthmus Brass concert to benefit the Porchlight ministry to the homeless will be held at the First United Methodist Church at 7:30 PM on December 12. There is no charge for the event but there will be an offering take to help fund Porchlight ministry.

You are invited to an East Madison tradition, the Juhlin’s Annual Christmas open house. It is open to all this Friday night, December 14, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Directions to their house are available at the church building.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church

Happy Monday, December 3, 2018 church!

December 3, 2018 | Categories: Church Blog.

Sisters and brothers,

Happy Monday to all! Yesterday we began the celebration of advent (the first coming of Jesus to earth) through our first advent reading and the singing of worship songs thinking about this season. We were reminded in looking at the genealogy, the family tree, of Jesus in Matthew 1 that God always keeps His promises! God kept His promise to Abraham that all nations of the world would be blessed thorough Him. God kept His promise to David the David would have a descendant who would reign forever. God kept these promises through sending Jesus to us. But also through His sending of Jesus, God is keeping His promise to His people that every people group in the world would have representatives worshiping Jesus in His Kingdom. Finally we saw that God keeps His promise that all who turn away from sin and turn to Jesus, no matter what their past, can be a part of a fantastic future! I am so glad we serve a God who always keeps His promises!

Remember we have special booklets, invitations and gift bags available for you to give out to friends and neighbors inviting them to our Christmas Eve Service at 5:00 PM, December 24. Many of you took some of these with you yesterday and I am grateful for that. More are available if you need them at the church building.

The Isthmus Brass concert to benefit the Porchlight ministry to the homeless will be held at the First United Methodist Church at 7:30 PM on December 12. There is no charge for the event but their will be an offering taken to help fund Porchlight ministry.

You are invited to the Juhlin’s Annual Christmas open house. It is open to all on Friday night, December 14, from 7:00 to 10:00 PM. Directions to their house are available at the church building.

Love being your pastor!

Bob Ray, Pastor, East Madison Baptist Church