Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012

For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Celebrating the birth of the Prince of Peace, the pastor reads out passages from the Bible: Luke 2:11 and Isaiah 9:6. He guides the congregation in responsive reading.
Allowing some moments to hang on for a quiet contemplation, he opens the worship service with a prayer.
Two hymns - Eden Pallun Loubang Tulsa (Renewing the Long Lost Glory Eden), and Chiamsa Mang Immanuel (Immanuel, The King Foretold) - are sung in succession followed by Mass Prayer.
Offering Bowl is brought before Upa Kaithang. Highlighting the significance of being able to attend the Mass amidst a host of shattered dreams and snapped lives the year 2012 had seen, he dedicated the offering to God. Many a king had been born, One like Christ not a king though. The congregation sings, Praise be to the Prince of Heaven – Vanmang Ta Pahtawi Ni (PNL No. 321).
On behalf of the Pastor and Tualsung Baptist Upa Committee (TBSUC), Upa Damsawmthang, the Chairman of the local elders committee of the Church extends warm greetings and best wishes to all.
Praises through special items are offered in succession through:
(i)                  Baptist Youth Fellowship- Halleluijah! Kris Hondampa Hongpiang (choir)
(ii)                Baptist Children Department- Scripture chants and choir
(iii)               Baptist Dorcas Fellowship- Hun Mualliamsa (choir)
(iv)              Remmawi & Friends- Nang leh ken nuam in zang ni Christmas (duet)

The Pastor takes over
Significance of Christmas
Moot Question: Why Jesus Christ had to walk upon the earth? That Jesus was “Born to Die” was clarified a year ago. That God is not man made, but revealed Himself due to the extreme call for His intervention in our lives.
The pastor asks two questions this time:
(i)                 What makes a Christmas?
(ii)               What does a Christmas offer?
 But what’s the significance of Christmas?
1.       Eternal Life. For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten son. For whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. St John 3:16.
2.       Freedom from the fear of death. Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—
15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death Hebrew 2:14-15.
3.       Peace on Earth. The birth of Jesus Christ and the Christmas occasion is supposed to bring about peace. Peace between man and God, peace between the conflicting elements in an individual, peace with fellow human beings, peace in the family, all these becomes a reality by virtue of Christmas. As seen from Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest,
 and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests (NIV). The irate protests (against rape and brutal assault of a 23 year old female physiotherapy student in Delhi on 16.12.2012) in India Gate and protest of similar kind in Manipur are asking for peace.

It’s vital to ask oneself if one has had the above 3 privileges.

With that note the Pastor prays for those who want to be free from fear (of death) and wants to start a new life.
The congregation rose to the last hymn, “Mimbang hong piang” also about the birth of Christ. And with benediction from Dr. Upa Langkham, the service is concluded.