Archive for December, 2013

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How do you die well?

Phil Ryken says: “Shortly after the death of my father-in-law, I had the opportunity to thank his pastor for the spiritual care he received from the church in his last days of life on this earth. I will always remember the words of encouragement the pastor gave me. “Jim Maxwell died well,” he said, before adding, “Not everyone does, you know.”

No, not everyone dies well, but only those who are strong in faith, bold in courage, and well prepared to meet their God. The Puritan Edmund Barker said, “Every Christian hath two great works to do in the world, to live well, and to die well.” This is one of my own spiritual ambitions: to be ready to die when the time comes, and to die well. It is never too early to start preparing for something as important as dying well. So what are some practical ways to get better prepared for the last moments we have on earth before our first moments in eternity?

We can prepare to die well by thinking often about death and the life to come. This is what Moses was doing when he prayed, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). This is always the way to prepare for things we know we have to face in the future. By thinking clearly and soberly about what lies ahead, we are better prepared to handle it with dignity and grace when the time comes. We should think about the moment of death itself, when we will have to say farewell to everything we have in this life, and also about what comes after death, when every believer will be “at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). And we should think about these things often. Charles Spurgeon said: “We are flying, as on some mighty eagle’s wing, swiftly on towards eternity. Let us, then, talk about preparing to die. It is the greatest thing we have to do, and we have soon to do it, so let us talk and think something about it.”

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Christmas Eve Service of Lessons and Carols

You are warmly invited to join us for our first ever service of lessons and carols on Tuesday, December 24 at 4 pm.  We will be meeting at our usual location (Eden Lake Elementary School 12000 Anderson Lakes Parkway, Eden Prairie, MN).

This  historic  service follows  closely  the  pattern  of  the  famous  Christmas  Eve  celebration  from  King’s  College Cambridge.  Every year  on  Christmas  Eve  a  festival  of  Nine  Lessons  and  Carols  is  held  in  King’s  College  Chapel.  The  Festival  was  first  introduced  in  1919.  It  was  later  broadcast  in  1928  and  is  now  broadcast  to  millions  of  people  around  the  world  every  year.  It  is  a  service  that  engages  our  minds  and  grips  our  hearts  as  the  drama  of  redemption  is  proclaimed  to  us  from  Genesis  to Revelation.

We  hear  the  Scriptures  read  and  briefly  explained  from  nine  passages,  tracing  the  history  of  salvation.  It  begins with  the  promise  of  a  Savior  to  Adam  and  Eve,  moves  to  the  promises  announced  to  the  Patriarchs  and  through  the  Prophets, culminates  with  the  birth  of  the  God-­‐man  in  the  Gospels  and  looks  forward  to  his  glorious  return  which  will  bring  peace  on earth.  Between  each  Scripture  lesson,  we  respond  by  singing  sacred  hymns,  rich  in  theology,  which  exalt  the  person  and  work  of  Christ.  We  hope  this  service  causes  you  to  reflect  with  wonder  and  awe  upon  the  great  significance  of  the  incarnation  of  our  Lord  and  Savior  Jesus  Christ,  to  trust  in  Him  alone  for  salvation,  and  to  look  forward  with  hope  to  His  second  coming.  Merry  Christmas!