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This is the third week of our Songs of the Messiah devotional. Copies are still available at the Connect table. Click here for more resources and a PDF version.
"Hark, the Herald Angels Sing"
Dr. Michael Allen - Academic Dean at RTS Orlando, NewCity Teaching Team
Justo González observes that North Americans tend to think of the family in terms of the nuclear family, while historically more traditional cultures (such as his own) have thought more broadly. He says: “During most of human history, the ‘normal’ family has been the extended family.” He shows that much is lost relationally, psychologically, economically, and, yes, spiritually when we thin down family to biological ties, when we forget that we are “no longer strangers and aliens but are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19). When we shrink the family, we lose mentors and drain our material resources and more easily forget our heritage.
 
Similarly, we can lose much when we shrink the range of voices to whom we listen as consumers of news, of analysis, and of educational materials. We may talk sometimes of selectivity bias, the tendency to listen to those with whom we agree. Right or left. Boomers or millennials. The 1% or the 99%. We can tend to aggregate and, frankly, to segregate our attention spans. Algorithms online nudge in this direction constantly. And sociologists and theologians alike will point out that we’re the worse off for living in echo chambers. We aren’t challenged at our weak points, and we aren’t incentivized to explore where we might grow or be corrected. Shrinking our sources can also limit us.
 
Luke 2:8-20 signals our need to lean against an even larger selectivity bias. We are not left merely to listen to songs from saints on earth, but here God send us witnesses heralding the gospel from heaven on high. Others will sing of God’s grace and faithfulness and might, and we do well to join in song with Mary, Zechariah, and Simeon. But nothing so stuns us with the almighty power of the gospel like hearing it sung by heavenly hosts. The very thought of angels singing to shepherds probably strikes many of us as fantastic. Yet this story and their song is one of God’s good gifts to us, a pinprick to alert us to our need for help from beyond: from beyond our own wisdom, beyond our own resources, and beyond our own justice. So it is no small thing that the gospel of Jesus Christ tells us that heaven itself has come down.
 
“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” –as we prepare to receive the gift of Jesus Christ, let’s be reminded by their song that he has come from the far country of heaven to bring God’s peace on earth.

Community Life

Counseling and Christian Growth with Dr. Eric Johnson

This Sunday, December 16, 7:00pm at the NewCity Offices

While the gospel is the power that saves and changes us we believe counseling can play an important role in christian growth.  Join us for a lecture from Dr. Eric Johnson from Houston University on the role of counseling in christian growth followed by a Q&A panel of local counseling professionals.

NewCity Offices -
815 N. Magnolia Ave.

RSVP Here

Advent Candlelight Service

Next Sunday, December 23, 6:30pm at FHC

Our Advent Candlelight Service includes carols, scripture readings, cookies, hot chocolate, and a performance by our CityKids Choir!

RSVP Here

CBR Journals

2019 CBR Journals are available at the Connect table!

Community Bible Reading (CBR) is the daily practice of reading one Old Testament and one New Testament Chapter every day as a community.

Learn more about CBR
Vision
To see our communities flourish through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Mission
To make whole-life disciples for their callings.
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