Song & Savior

What Child is This?

By Karen Polich

Everything hinges on the SAVIOR who has been given to us. – Michael M. Cook

 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:11-14

Why do we need a savior? What do we need to be saved from? Is it a life that hasn’t gone according to plan? Is it despair? Is a life that is “fine”, immune from the need? No. Christmas has one purpose and the Savior matters for one reason.

Jesus Christ, our Savior, was born for reconciliation to a Holy God. Christ reconciles our sin, returning us to God in full measure.

Christ, Messiah, Lord, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Anointed One

Pastor Michael Cook completed his Song and Savior sermon series by outlining three important parts of Christ’s identity. Listen to the podcast here.

  1. He is God’s King. He is the anointed one. Christ isn’t King of this world today, but He will be. Revelation 20
  2. He is the Great High Priest. Only one mediator can bridge the gap to God once and for all. Jesus. The only answer. He gives us final and glorious access to God. Jesus “ripped the veil” upon His ascension.
  3. He is the Great Prophet. All of God’s messengers were anointed by God. Jesus is the Lord (not the lord). Christ is divine and has the complete authority of Yahweh, the Great I Am.

There is no Christianity without trusting Jesus as Lord of your life. Believe in Him and find peace. Spiritual peace that surpasses understanding and the troubles of this world.

Our primary purpose as believers is to give glory to God. – Michael M. Cook

Christmas is about a child and you’ll know Him when you meet Him. The day you know Him is a glorious day!

What Child is this? Have you met Him? Do you know Him?

Song and Savior – Announcement

By Karen Polich

Pastor Michael Cook’s Song and Savior sermon message focused on the ultimate announcement. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11 Listen to the podcast here.

Luke 2:11 sums up the concept of Christmas. It is the high point of all redemptive history.

Christ is born. Everything else is secondary in the story.

Major stories are shared. People of influence are usually the first to know. Yet, who did God choose to share the story? Shepherds were God’s messengers of choice. Though not a shameful position, it was a lowly position in society. These were not the men of importance in the area.

Isn’t it just like God to go to the outcasts and make them central in the message of Christ’s birth?

Just as Jesus is the way to reconciliation with God, shepherds were the gate keeping sheep in or out of the corral at night. The symbolism of the shepherd’s role in protecting and tending the sheep shouldn’t be missed. Jesus’ proclaimed that He is the Good Shepherd.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:8-11

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them”… God had been silent for almost five hundred years.

What is significant about this appearance is the Glory of God shone around them. It had been hundreds of years since anyone experienced this.

God’s plan was not only in place, but was there for everyone to see. Can you see it this Christmas?



Bethlehem Birth

By Karen Polich

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:4-7

Pastor Michael Cook’s deeper look at the birth of Jesus in his Song and Savior sermon series gives us much to think about. Read Luke 2:1-7 and listen to the podcast here.

Bethlehem was the birthplace of King David. Joseph was descended from the line of David. This is what brought Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus. It was time for the first census. Rome wanted to know who could serve in the army and what taxes could be collected.

Did Mary really have to go on this journey? Married, Joseph and Mary were committed to one another and to God. Would others have understood this? Two teens in this situation may have endured their share of scandal concerning this pregnancy.

Bethlehem wasn’t a big place. Most likely it didn’t have a formal inn. Any nice place to stay would have already been taken by the Romans and affluent Jewish families. Travel was by animal, so an adjacent shelter for animals would have been common.

Wrapping baby Jesus in cloth was not extraordinary, but laying Him in a feed trough in the midst of the animals wasn’t what we would expect. Isn’t God like that in our lives? He comes to us in the stench and smell of this broken world and makes Himself known. No need for a grand entrance or loud announcement, He is there, loving us. His simple birth demonstrates this.

In the fullness of time, God sent forth His son.

The God of eternity, the God of immensity pushed His way into this world as the firstborn son of Mary. Mary would have other children, but Jesus was firstborn and the primary inheritor. (Matthew 13: 55-56) Through Joseph’s lineage Jesus would be next in line to be the king, lining up with prophecy.

Our God is mighty beyond our imagination, yet He came to us in humility, a King born without a royal procession. This Savior would walk this earth until giving Himself as the ultimate sacrifice.



Song and Savior

By Karen Polich

God is intimately interested in you and every detail of your life.

Luke 2:1-10

Pastor Michael Cook took us into the Christmas story with a look at details. Listen to the podcast here.

There was so much going on in the lives of Mary and Joseph. Nothing was within the ordinary. Mary was expecting a baby and Joseph had made the choice to listen to God and not abandon her. They were on a 90-mile journey to Bethlehem.

Imagine the circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus. What was so urgent about having to make this journey? It was time for the new Roman census. Joseph had to return to the place of his lineage. Mary traveled on the back of a burro for the long journey. Bethlehem was bustling with people. What a place and time to find yourself having a baby!

Where was God in all of this? He was there, in every detail, fulfilling the prophecy of the birth of the Savior. The lineage, the location and the manner of circumstances. Mary and Joseph were taken from everything they knew and God was in the midst of each moment.

God would continue to orchestrate things in His infinitely creative way even after Jesus was born, from taking Him to Egypt out of Herrod’s reach and then all the way to the cross.

How does the Christmas story relate to you and me? Besides the obvious of sending us a Savior, there is the understanding of the involvement of God in our lives. Despite anything we face, God is there. He is working in ways we cannot imagine.

He orchestrated events through Caesar Augustus related to the prophecy of Jesus’ birth. A Roman who was not focused on anything related to Jesus played a part in fulfilling God’s plan. God was there, making things happen. He does that for you and me. God isn’t just watching us live our lives; He is working in our lives.

God watches and works in the midst of your personal circumstances. – Michael Cook

As we enter into another Christmas season, stop and look around. God desires to be intimately involved in your circumstances. How is God working in your life right now?