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Blog Archives: December 2016

Life in the New Year

December 28, 2016
Chris Castaldo
Many people make it their policy to avoid discussion about death, even though it is certain to visit all of us. It is a simple fact that our lives move along a deathward trajectory. Thousands of people die each day, and it is the horizon before which we rise every morning. The Italian playboy Casanova resented the thought of death because it threatened to remove him from the stage of history before the end of the show. Simone de Beauvoir suggested that death instills anxiety precisely because it is “the inescapable reversal of our pr ...

Looking for Christmas

December 21, 2016
Chris Castaldo
In American culture, the weeks of Advent are teeming with parties, shopping, family gatherings, and the like. Men and women often work overtime to earn a little extra money to afford gifts. And when we finally drop into a chair to enjoy a moment of relaxation, the television unleashes upon us an onslaught of holiday-themed advertisements. What is the message? For the most part, it is anything but the news of Advent. Therefore, it is important to carve out time to consider the significance of the coming of Christ. Following are a few ...

Christmas Eve Service

December 13, 2016
Robert Ooms
Do you ever wish that you could experience Christmas in church the way it would have been before our modern world invaded our lives with cell phone and everything else? We invite you to set aside some time to Celebrate Christ’s birth in the quiet reverence of a Candlelight Service on Christmas Eve at 5 PM. This service provides a wonderful opportunity to pause and reflect on the Incarnation of our Lord, as we hear God’s Word. Join your voice with ours in singing beloved Christmas songs which focus on the birth of Our Savior: songs such ...

The Ultimate Gift of Christmas

December 13, 2016
Chris Castaldo
(Following is the homily Pastor Castaldo delivered at this year’s Lessons & Carols service) Do you remember? Can you recall Christmas of bygone years? After hanging glass ornaments on the freshly cut tree You inhaled the fragrance of pine or spruce Threads of tinsel and glass bulbs twinkled The resplendence of tinfoil seraphs A Pottery Barn-like-glow in the fireplace You grabbed a mug of hot cocoa with miniature marshmallows And considered the contents of those red velvet stockings Garland, eggnog, poinsettias, spritz ...

Christmas Gifts

December 08, 2016
Chris Castaldo
As 2016 comes to an end, we want to express heartfelt appreciation for your love, support, and investment in New Covenant Church. Because of your generosity, we have seen the body of Christ grow in both size and depth. We recognize this is the Lord’s work among us (1 Cor. 3:6) and therefore wish to celebrate his provision. Like most churches, a significant amount of our income is received in December. Having embraced the greatest gift, we now enjoy the privilege of giving to the kingdom of God. We therefore want to invite you to join us in ...

The Texture of Advent

December 01, 2016
Chris Castaldo
It was among the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received. Following an exposition of Matthew 2, in which I explained the typological significance of Jesus’ flight to Egypt against the background of salvation history, an old Bible teacher put his arm around me and asked if he could offer some feedback. “Please,” I replied. “I am a seminarian; this is the season of life in which I need input.” I’m not sure I believed it, but it seemed like the appropriate thing to say. The elderly gentleman with piercing blue eyes proceeded to educate me: “I ...