The Essentials of Christmas – Mary
Dr. Jeffrey Clark
- Mary gives us a Psalm.
- Mary is poor in spirit.
- Mary is so certain of the future, she speaks in the past tense.
- Mary’s place in our affections and worship.
Quick Review: Looking back at your notes from this week’s teaching,
was there anything that particularly caught your attention, challenged
or confused you?
My Story: Today our topic has to do with Mary, the mother of Jesus.
She is probably the most well known of all the women ever to walk the
planet. She is also very misunderstood. Why do you think Mary has
brought such polarity to our world?
- Mary’s song is like the Psalms of the Old Testament. Review what you know about the Psalms. React to Athanasius’ statement that most of the Scripture speaks to us, but the Psalms speak for us. Discuss how you use the Psalms in your Christian life.
- Mary’s song shows a woman who is poor in spirit. It is a song similar to Hannah’s song in the OT (1 Sam 2:1-10). How are the circumstances of Hannah and Mary similar and different? How are the songs similar and different? What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
- Mary’s song includes 7 occurrences of what may be called the “prophetic perfect”. In essence, this means that Mary is so sure of the future she speaks of it as if it has already happened. Can you locate and identify the 7 occasions in her song? What kind of person (people, church) would you be with this type of faith?
Taking It Home: Conclude in what way Mary is to be “blessed,” and in
what way she is not to be blessed (Luke 11:27-28). John Calvin said
“We gladly receive her instruction, and conform to her teaching and
precepts.” What do you need to hear from Mary?
If you are visiting today, we want to extend a special welcome to you and
invite you to an informal reception immediately following our worship
service. On Saturday, Pastor Jeff is available in the Celebration Center,
and on Sunday, Pastor Jeff and his wife Mary will meet you at the
Welcome Center in the entryway.
ASPEN RIDGE CHURCH FAMILY
As 2013 comes to a close, we celebrate our Savior’s birth and praise our
Father for every good and perfect gift. We reflect on the great things
happening at Aspen Ridge Church and need to remember those who
unselfishly serve us week in and week out. We will be collecting a love
offering during the last weeks of December to then present a gift to the
staff as an expression of our appreciation. Please note “Staff Gift” on
your check, and place it in the offering by the end of December. Thank
you from the Elder Team.
Do you want to be a man of influence in your home, work and church in
2014? Aspen Ridge Church will be offering a leadership development
track called 'Impact Player' for those who want to be challenged further in
their Christian lives. This will be a monthly gathering centered around
vital topics for men in the Christian life. If you are interested in knowing
more, please be in touch with our church office.
Baptism is a great way to start a new year. If you are interested in
participating during the first weekend in January, please contact the
church office. There will be orientation meetings with Pastor Jeff on
December 15 and 22 at 9:00 AM.
The Gathering is open to all, meeting in Room 104 during the 9:00 AM
hour. The Gathering will host Senior Pastor Jeff Clark – the topic will be
“Common Misconceptions about Christmas”. Please join us as we take a
fun and educational look at the misconceptions of Christmas. We will
break for the holidays on December 22 and 29, resuming January 5 with
Dave Furman in a fascinating discussion on “Christianity and its Basis in
A MESSAGE FROM OUR SECURITY TEAM
At Aspen Ridge, the security of our church family is a top priority. If you
have a security question or concern that needs to be reported, please do
not hesitate to contact our security team at
THERE IS STILL TIME TO JOIN THE
CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS NATIVITY PLAY!
Make a Christmas memory with your children. There is one more Nativity
rehearsal for your kiddos to jump in! It is Wednesday, December 18 at
6:00 PM. The children will practice carols and acting out the Christmas
story. The performances will be on December 21 at 6:00 PM and
December 22 at 10:30 AM during our church services.
CHRISTMAS EVE SERVICES
We would like to invite our church family, friends and neighbors to join us
on Christmas Eve at 3:30 PM or 5:00 PM. This special service is a great
way to begin your holiday celebrations by praising God for the gift of His
Son, through fellowship, song and the reading and hearing of His Word.
High Schoolers, it is almost time for “SUPERNATURAL” Winter Camp
2014! The dates are January 24-26 and the cost is $120 for one student
or $225 for two. We need your deposit of $50 and a filled-out, signed
medical form by December 22 to hold your spot, with the balance due by
January 18. Be ready for an exciting program – including drama and
music, meeting great friends, a dodgeball tournament, a game room, a
swimming pool and much more. Please see our Director of Student
Ministries, Hunter Headley, for complete details. Do not miss this super
Middle School and High School will meet at their regularly scheduled
times this week (listed on the back page) and will be going caroling.
Please meet at the church, dressed warmly and ready to have some
SOCIAL SECURITY WORKSHOP
On January 21, Aspen Ridge will be hosting a Social Security Workshop
led by Bob Blake, Michael Speer and Bronco Ring of Fame football
player, Randy Gradishar. The workshop will cover several areas that can
affect how much you collect in benefits over your lifetime. Be sure to
bring a friend!