December 22, 2013 – Fourth Sunday of Advent

Luke 2:1-14 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was betrothed and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” *** Advent 4    Dec 22, 2013   (Ps 98, Isaiah 9:2-7, Matt 1: 18-25) Luke 2:1-14 No room at the inn ******************************************* Consider again the story… Try again to imagine…what it must be like to take a three-to-four-days-long, more-than-70-miles-long journey… from Nazareth, up in the far north of Israel, way down to Bethlehem in the south, all on foot. There’s no cars, trucks, trains, or bus, remember – and the bible actually never mentions a donkey, even… We hope the holy family had one for Mary to ride, but that’s just our hope… There’s no such thing in those days as a hospital. And all the local inns are famously full – best we can do, sorry folks, is out in the barn – or more likely, on the floor of the house where the animals often lived. Homes usually consisted of one large room, with animals often kept indoors, at least at times, down at the lower end of the room. And the Greek word we translate as “inn” (where there was no room) – means literally “lodging place” – public guest rooms where floor space would be   shared at busy times – like this time of compulsory tax registration – with many other travelers… and animals… all in one room together. Nothing even close to a Holiday Inn for the holy family…. And as we rejoin our story in progress… here’s Mary and Joseph, trying to find any kind of place at all where they can lay their weary heads. And the bible says nothing about any midwife or nurse there to assist with the birth. (And as the song says:) Once in royal David’s city stood...

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Announcements Week of December 22, 2013 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, Dec 22nd: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School Monday, Dec 23rd: 9:00 AM Church Office Open (until 1pm) Tuesday, Dec 24th: 9:00 PM Christmas Eve Service Thursday, Dec 26th: Church Office Closed Saturday, Dec 28th: 8:00 PM Contra Dance Sunday, Dec 29th: 11:00 AM Worship & Church School CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: This week, the church office will be open on Monday, December 23rd, from 9am to 1pm, and on Friday, December 27th, from 9am to 1pm. Merry Christmas! OUR CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICE will be this Tuesday, December 24th, at 9:00pm, here at Bourne UMC. (There is  a 7:00pm service at Cataumet) BIBLE STUDY WILL BE TAKING A WINTER BREAK until January 8th. No Bible study this week or next. CONTRA DANCE: On December 28, our 4th Saturday Bourne Contra features caller Linda Leslie and music by The French Connection. Join us and welcome the new year in friendly dance community. From 8 pm to 11 pm. No experience necessary; dancers change partners after most dances. MAILING LIST: If you are not on our mailing list (email or hard copy) to receive newsletters, and other church news, please fill out a card in Crain Hall. Also, if your address has changed, please let us know! HOPE YOU CAN HELP… Christmas decorations come down after worship and coffee hour on January 5, 2014. After they are packed, we will be providing a light meal. We would appreciate any help with this task. Thank You, The Worship Committee  ...

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