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January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
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Are You Experiencing Wonder?
What causes you to feel wonder—that feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, or inexplicable? In today’s age of unparalleled technological advancement, it’s becoming harder and harder to experience wonder. But this weekend, as we kicked off our four-week Christmas series, Pastor Doug sets the stage of God’s redemptive promise and explains how the story of Christmas goes well beyond anything we can imagine, providing us with true wonder.
Watch this short video to see how this weekend’s teaching affected some of our fellow church members. To watch this teaching or other messages, click here.
For the Note Takers
Let’s recap some of the key talking points from Pastor Doug’s teaching this weekend:
Who: God Himself (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23): God was coming to save His people, but the manner in which He came was unexpected. The King of glory laid aside His glory and became one of us.
What: Rescue Mission (Isaiah 9:5–6, 59:15–17): Adam and Eve sinned. It caused man to fall; to be separated from a holy and perfect God. And since the cost of sin is death, we—now in a fallen state—were powerless to save ourselves. So, God, who loves us with an everlasting love, came down to fight a battle we could never win—our battle with sin and death!
When: The Perfect Time (Genesis 3:15): For some, it probably seemed as though God had forgotten His promise made to Eve, given to Abraham, and confirmed to David. It was a promise 4,000 years in the making, but God didn’t forget. And when the right moment arrived, God sent His Son, the Messiah, who fulfilled 353 prophecies in His 33 years on earth.
Where: Bethlehem (Micah 5:2): Originally called Ephrath and first mentioned as the burial place of Rachel, Bethlehem was also the city of Ruth’s redemption where she gleaned in Boaz’s fields, as well as the birthplace and location of King David’s anointing. Even through all of this, it was still seen as nothing more than a small town, plain and forgettable. It didn’t contain any beautiful palaces or prestigious temples. Man would think there is no possible way the Messiah could come from here . . . but God doesn’t think or operate like we do (1 Samuel 16:7). And we serve a God who picks a city like Bethlehem and people like Ruth and David.
Why: God Loves Us (John 3:16): He did all of this because He loves like no one you’ve ever known. And He offers a way back to the Father (John 14:6).
Quote to Remember: “The wonder is not in the outer package, but in the inner presence. The glory is in the box.”—Pastor Doug Sauder
A Look Ahead
This Wednesday, be part of an incredible Christmas-themed night of worship and prayer. There’s nothing like experiencing God’s presence as a family.
This weekend, we’ll continue exploring the wonder of Christmas with a look at Mary and Joseph’s stories, as well as examining the time period in which God chose to send His Son.
Be part of the wonder of Christmas during our December 17 & 18 Christmas Celebration service through an interactive, fun worship experience! Simply download the free Offline Lights show app on your smart phone or tablet, check in to service, and enjoy!
To download the app, search “Offline Lights” in the App Store or Google Play.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.