We have now begun the season of Advent, a period of four weeks leading up to Christmas. For most it’s a time of opening Advent calendars, of Christmas shopping and decorating the home. But what is its real meaning? The word Advent comes from the Latin Adventus which means arrival, or coming, derived from the Greek word Parousia, which means royal arrival, a word used of the Emperor arriving into Rome. This word takes us to our great hope, the great arrival of God into our world for final judgment. God’s coming will be the final act of history, the greatest day in the universe, the day when all wrong will finally be put right. This doctrine is, therefore, not peripheral but central with over 250 references to the Day of the Lord in the Bible. Yet, it is the great miracle of grace that, before His final coming in great majesty, God has first come in great humility. And the purpose of His first coming is to prepare us for His second. In stepping down into the world, and taking on our humanity, God the Son, became like us in our humanity so that we might become like Him in His glory.
In this sense the Christian lives in the gap before the two great “appearing’s”. We look back to Jesus’ first coming to save the world and forward to Jesus’ second final coming to judge the world. So in Titus 2:11-14 Paul writes: “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works”. Saved by Jesus first coming, we eagerly await His second coming to take us home to glory.
The Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the church’s cry during the Advent season:
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears.
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
While Israel would have sung the song in expectation of Christ’s first coming, the church now sings the song in commemoration of that first coming and in expectation of the second coming in the future. All this means that Advent is not a time for shopping and decorating, but a time for sober self-examination, as we acknowledge that final judgment and final salvation from sin is soon coming. Dietrich Bonhoffer therefore wrote: “The celebration of Advent is possible only to those who are troubled in soul, who know themselves to be poor and imperfect, and who look forward to something greater to come.” On the first Sunday in Advent, the collect in the Church of England, reads: “Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through Him who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen”.
May we, this Advent take time to marvel at our salvation and to look forward to the coming of Christ. And may we lament our sin and resolve to grow in godliness as we await his return.
Christmas at Leidy’s
- Christmas Brass Concert – Dec 4 – 7:30PM
- Enjoy a performance of various Christmas songs with the opportunity to join in singing.
- Nine Lessons & Carols by Candlelight – Dec 11 – 6PM
- A short address on the meaning of Christmas.
- Christmas Concert – Dec 18 – 7:30PM
- Performances by Suite Brass, the Choir, guest organist Brian Bullard, harpist Justine Smith & Tony Grau along with carol singing.
- Carols by Candlelight – Dec 24 – 6PM
- Communion Service – Dec 24 – 11PM
- Christmas Morning Sunday Service – Dec 25 – 10AM
Within the Fellowship
Our sincere Christian sympathy to Barb Gehman and family at the death of her father, and to Ron Miller and family at the death of his mother. May God be with them at this difficult time.
Ladies of Leidy’s
Ladies, please join us on Tuesday evening, December 6th at 7:00pm in the Fellowship Hall for our Christmas meeting. Verna Bowman will be speaking on the Woman of Christmas. We will also be wrapping gifts that have been bought by our shoppers following our business meeting.
All ladies are welcome to attend.
Chili Cook Off
Hello, present and potentially future chili champs and those who enter just for fun . . . this is a pre-announcement to the official announcement that Leidy’s will be hosting a Chili Cook-off on January 21, 2023. Get it on your calendars now. . . it will be to support the Night to Shine event that is taking place on February 10 also at Leidy’s . . . get that on your calendars also!
There will be three categories this year, beef, chicken and mystery. With 10 spots in each one to enter. Sign up genius will go out after thanksgiving.
- 10 points for chili name (we will get this prior to the event for ballots)
- 10 points for chili appearance
- 10 points for chili taste
$25 entry fee, gets you to try all the other chilis and unlimited house chili . . . there will be prizes for the top three in each chili category and top three prizes for chili name.
$15 per person to judge (blue ballot) and all you can eat house chili (12 and up)
$10 per person all you can eat house chili (you ain’t judging, just eating)
$5 per 11 and under to judge (yellow ballot) all you can eat (the yellow ballots don’t count, but the kids don’t know that)
There is max cap of $50 per family (more is allowed if you so desire)
There will be chicken nuggets and applesauce to help make it a family event . . .
for those who will enter and win, I salute you,
for those who are will enter and lose . . . life’s hard get a helmet
for those who read this and don’t enter…we can still be friends for a donation of your choosing… just kidding . . .
On November 9th, 2022 the Consistory met at 8:04. Peter Martindell was absent. Pastor Tony began the meeting with a devotional and handed out What is a Healthy Church for their reading and discussion at the December meeting.
Consistory reviewed minutes from its October 5th, 17th, 19th, and 30th meetings. Pastor Michael Noted the omission of Pastor Jeff Pike from the list of those attending the October 19th meeting with Gary Filson. Gary had requested the minutes from October 5th be reviewed and amended. After discussing the minutes and the discussion from the meeting of the 5th, it was decided that no revisions were warranted. On motion of Pastor Michael and second of Brian Shoemaker, all four sets of minutes were unanimously approved with the inclusion of Jeff Pike on the meeting of the 19th.
Pastor Tony shared Pastor Steve’s intention to retire from ministry at Leidy’s Church. Pastor Steve then shared that Joy and he had been seeking the Lord’s direction for some time. He shared that they will be moving to Florida to be closer to Joy’s mother, and their new granddaughter. He has accepted a position as a chaplain. Several Consistorymen offered thanks to Pastor Steve for his faithfulness. Pastor Michael prayed for Steve and Joy as they begin this transition in life.
After receiving reports from the pastors and discussing the shape of the 2023 Consistory committees, officers for the 2023 Consistory were presented and approved. Jeff Schatz and Shaun Permar will continue as President and Secretary respectively. John Dilenge will serve as the Vice President in the place of Peter Martindell who is finishing this December.
Dana gave the financial report and noted an increase in giving through October. He then led the discussion to establish the draft of the 2023 budget to be reviewed in December.
The meeting ended in prayer at 11:02.
Night to Shine
Night to Shine is back in person for the first time since 2020! There is a place for EVERYONE to help! Mark your calendars for February 10, 2023. Volunteer registrations go live on December 1st. Prayerfully consider sponsoring a guest by purchasing a star ornament. A table is set up outside the Fellowship Hall by the church mailboxes with more info. Keep posted for more opportunities to help make this a memorable event for our guests in the near future.
New City Catechism
Question 25: Does Christ’s death mean all our sins can be forgiven?
Yes, because Christ’s death on the cross fully paid the penalty for our sin, God graciously imputes Christ’s righteousness to us as if it were our own and will remember our sins no more.
2 Corinthians 5:21: For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Commentary – Richard Sibbes
Though one sin was enough to bring condemnation, yet the free gift of grace in Christ is of many offences unto justification. And we have a sure ground for this, for the righteousness of Christ is God’s righteousness, and God will thus glorify it, that it shall stand good to those that by faith apply it against their daily sins, even till at once we cease both to live and sin. For this very end was the Son of God willingly made sin, that we might be freed from the same. And if all our sins laid upon Christ could not take away God’s love from him, shall they take away God’s love from us, when by Christ’s blood our souls are purged from them? O mercy of all mercies, that . . . He would vouchsafe to . . . Make us his by such a way, as all the angels in heaven stand wondering at; even his Son not only taking our nature and miserable condition, but our sin upon him, that that being done away, we might through Christ have boldness with god as ours, who is now in heaven appearing there for us, until he bring us home to himself, and presents us to his Father for his for ever!
Some years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, my great concern was that the surgeon would get it all. I wasn’t really interested in a cure that was only partial. And when we think about Jesus bearing our sins, the mystery and the wonder of the gospel is that he deals with all of them. He who was absolutely perfect died in the place of sinners, identifying with us in our guilt and becoming liable to our punishment. When Paul writes to the Corinthians, he tells them that God was not counting their sins against them. And the reason for that is because he was counting them against him. Jesus died not as a martyr, but as substitute. The invitation of the gospel is given to all, but the assurance of forgiveness is only for those who are in Christ, whose sins have been counted to him.
Augustus Toplady captured the security of this when he wrote:
Rock of ages cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy riven side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
cleanse me from its guilt and power.
Peter tells us that the angels, actually, long to look into this (1 Pet. 1:12). And what they have observed from a distance, the believer knows perfectly.
The wonder of it all is that our disobedience is completely covered by the obedience of the Lord Jesus—all of our sins dealt with forever.
Prayer: Forgiving Father, when we are covered in the righteousness of Christ, you remember our sins no more. You have put them as far as the east is from the west. Help us not to doubt your forgiveness, your mercy, or your love, but come to you boldly as your beloved children. Amen.
Birthdays & Anniversaries
1 – JoAnn Elliott
2 – Phoenix Lepping
3 – Riley Peck, Brent Talbot, Sr.
4 – Cheryl Hall, Jeff Schatz, Mary Beth Musselman
5 – Jonas Leidy, Nelda Metzler, Francis Weiss
6 – Denise Kulp, Karen Mirabella, Steve Myers, Dave Reich
7 – Derek Freed
8 – Brent Talbot, Jr.
9 – Joyce Anders, Noah Kulp
10 – Audrey Niederhaus
11 – Rich Kapusta
12 – Betty Weber
13 – Vanessa Martindell, Peg Mower
14 – Genie Smedberg
15 – Alison Grater, Lori Maxwell
16 – Steve Bandura, Ally Hager
17 – Debbie Bandura, Patricia Martindell
18 – Walt Gehman, Sue Lindner
19 – Carol Godshall
20 – James Mylin, Yvonne Shoemaker
21 – Karen Parry
7 – Mark & Sharon Kostishion
8 – Andy & Joan Tawney
9 – Ken & Wanda Ritter
10 – John & Elaine Greene, Ken & Nicole Peck
11 – Jeff & Lori Maxwell
12 – Ray & Beverly Dettra
13 – Robert & Elaine Frank