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Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.

Hello Friends: 11.29.12- Intro to Shine

Hello Friends,

Denise and I hope and pray that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We, along with all our kiddos, did a roadtrip to Los Angeles to have Thanksgiving with our oldest son at Life Pacific College. We cooked a full Thanksgiving dinner in a small college dorm – just like the “old days!” It was wonderful to have our family together…except my Mom that is.

This is the first Thanksgiving since she passed away. No one could fill up a kitchen with food and love more than my Mom. This is the time of year when I know I’ll start to really miss her. Perhaps you have lost someone or are walking through the pain of a divorce, broken relationship, or a wayward child. This season can be a tough one in that regard. Let me encourage you to have hope and trust in the Lord.

As we head full on into Christmas, I will be highlighting five STORIES of hope and trust that revolve around five SONGS in the Book of Luke. I will be writing about them in each week’s HELLO FRIENDS email as well as expounding upon them at each of our weekend worship gatherings at West Salem Foursquare.  I’m calling this series:  SHINE: Songs of Christmas.  I’m so excited about this series for a number of reasons, but perhaps mostly because of some special gifts that we will be giving our church family throughout December. For a number of months, our worship and creative arts department has been working diligently to write, record and release FIVE ORIGINAL SONGS to coincide with our SHINE: Songs of Christmas series.

You will love them! Visit wsfc.org each week to download the latest song. As well, make sure to pass them on to others!

The first one is about the Song of Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-45. She is a great example of hope and trust in the Lord.

Like her husband, Zechariah, Elizabeth was of priestly descent. Luke wanted us to know that they were both upright and blameless. This is interesting, due to the fact that Elizabeth was barren (unable to conceive a child). In Judaism, this was often seen as a result of sin. Sadly, this belief is held in some modern-day strains of Christianity. However, I do not see this lining up with the heart of God.

Imagine being Elizabeth, under the guilt and shame of barrenness. She and her husband were trying to do the right things, honoring the Lord with their lives, and yet, they struggled for years…until the angel of the Lord spoke! Zechariah was told that his wife would give birth to a boy and he was to be named John (good name, huh?!?). John would, according to Luke 1:17 “prepare the people for the Lord.” 

What a difference the Word of the Lord makes!

Months later, Mary visited Elizabeth in her hometown of Judea. When she entered the home, John-Boy leapt in Elizabeth’s womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit. From the overflow of the Spirit of God within her, with a loud voice she spoke an anointed song over Mary and her baby. This was an Old Testament berakah or benediction. The term that we would be most familiar with is blessing.

So…Elizabeth goes from being BARREN to giving a BLESSING!

Again, what a difference the Word of the Lord makes!

What song are you singing? Is it a downcast, bummed out song of barrenness? Or are you placing your hope and trust in the Lord, listening for his Word, and singing a song of BLESSING?

SHINE ON,

Pastor John

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