Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
10 December 2015  

I welcome you to Bethany Renew! This is our church's weekly online spiritual connection.
Every midweek, you will receive a devotion, a prayer, or an essay that are intended to stir up conversations and ideas of how we will proceed on the path of renewal. Feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think will be interested in receiving these readings.  You are welcome to respond or make comments, or otherwise just sit back and enjoy your weekly readings and reflections!  


Dec. 13, @10am
"Strangers on Advent"
They say that the birth narrative of Christ is full of ideas and stories of migration. Let's study Christmas in the light of the refugee and immigration events we are facing. Come and join us! 

Walking the Road To Bethlehem
A 5-week Advent Bible Study  
(Every Wednesday at 6pm)

Dec. 18 
Blue Christmas
(6 p.m.)
A Christmas event that comforts the soul. Receive Christ's love. Everyone's welcome. (for more details, contact Joanne)

Dec. 24 
Christmas Eve Candle Light Service (11 p.m.)


John 1:14 says, "The Word became flesh and lived among us." That sacred night, God became a baby. Eternity entered humanity. The Creator incarnated within the creation story. The Word was made flesh!
That holy eve, perpetual light penetrated our dark world as an infant child. Behold its simplicity! There's nothing to decode. Love came down that Christmas night.
And it is also good to be reminded that in the middle of the nativity is after all a family. The Savior could have descended from the clouds with beaming lights and a majestic entrance. But the Word was simply born in a loving, caring, nurturing household.
God's awesome incarnation story is maybe challenging us to do the same this Christmas season.
We can manifest the Word into tangible acts of compassion. Let us translate dogmas into active spirit of generosity. When we dine together, let us show more evidently how grateful we are that we have each other as a family. When we come together, let us express worship more joyously.
Make sure not to miss the true advent spirit behind the decorations and the merriments. It's the love of family shared together on Christmas morning. It's the love of friendship, when you call someone who is far away. It's the love of every social workers, charity organizers; every churches that will extend a bowl of soup or a loaf of bread to the poor.
Let love be the center of every gathering.
Let love be the motivation of every gift-giving.
Let love be the celebrated reason for every carols sang; every reunion dinners; every presents in every gift boxes.
And let the Word be so enfleshed in our hearts that our lives will be a manger for the world to behold Christ once more. So in everything we do this season, we will spread and manifest the Word made flesh, by embodying  Christ's love in our lives. 

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Pastor Ferdie Llenado
Bethany United Methodist Church
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