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8:15 am and 11:00 AM Worship in the Sanctuary
9:40 Christian Education for All Ages!
Junior Church for ages 4 through second grade during the service after children's moment with the pastor
Toddler care available during service
Bret Harte wrote a story entitled "The Luck of Roaring Camp."
The story goes that Roaring Camp was supposed to be the meanest, toughest mining town in the entire West. It was reported that there were more murders and thefts than any other place around. It was a terrible place inhabited entirely by men, except for one woman who made her living in the only way she knew how. Her name was Cherokee Sal.
Sal became pregnant and died while giving birth to a baby girl. The men took the baby and put her in a box with some old rags under her. Somehow that just didn't seem right, so one of the men rode eighty miles to buy a rosewood cradle. He brought it back, and they put the rags and the baby in the beautiful new rosewood cradle. But the rags didn't look very nice in the beautiful new cradle, so they had another man ride to Sacramento where he bought some beautiful silk and lace blankets. Now they put the baby in the cradle lined with silk and put the new blanket over her. It looked fine until someone happened to notice that the floor was so filthy.
So these hardened, tough men got down on their hands and knees, and with their calloused hands scrubbed the floor until it was spotless. Of course, now the walls and the ceiling and the dirty windows without curtains looked absolutely terrible. So they washed down the walls and the ceiling, and they put curtains at the windows. Things were beginning to look a lot better. But of course, they had to give up a lot of their fighting, because the baby slept a lot, and babies can't sleep during a brawl. So the whole temperature of Roaring Camp seemed to go down.
They would take the baby out and set her by the entrance to the mine in her rosewood cradle, with one of the men staying next to her, so the others could see her when they came out of the mine. Then somebody noticed what a dirty place the mine entrance was, so they planted flowers, and they made a garden there. It really looked quite beautiful. The men would bring the baby shiny little stones that they would find in the mine. But when they would put their hands down next to hers, their hands looked so dirty. Pretty soon the general store was all sold out of soap and shaving gear. The baby was changing everything...
That's also the way it is meant for those who have placed their faith in the baby born in Bethlehem. The birth of the baby Jesus is intended to change every aspect of us. If we celebrate Jesus' birth but do not become new creatures, then we have missed the point of Christmas.
Paul reminded the church of Corinth and he reminds us today with these words of renewal: "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
May this Advent and Christmas season be a time of renewal and change for all of us. After all, a baby can change everything!