The Word Became Flesh
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. ~ John 1:12-14
Twinkling lights, hot apple cider, carols in every store—Christmas fills our senses at every turn, mounting our anticipation of this “most wonderful time of the year.” Stress levels escalate as we rush to mail cards, squeeze every performance and party into our already busy schedules, and fight hordes of shoppers to snag that “perfect” gift. And somewhere amidst all the hustle and bustle we try to fit in an oft-overlooked babe—the one truly perfect gift who is the heart of the season.
That our Lord chose to present himself in human form, a form we can readily understand, is an amazing gift, indeed. The anticipation of a baby, the joyous celebration of a child’s birth, the heartache of losing a beloved son—the story of Christ is brimming with human emotion. It is only because Christ was born of Mary and walked this earth as we do that we can begin to understand what it means for us to be born of God and walk as He does.
As you bask in the glow of holiday lights and honor favored traditions with family and friends, be sure to pause and reflect on the wonder of salvation in the form of a babe. I guarantee the fullness of your heart will exceed that of your senses.
Merry Christmas from the MWC staff!
Allan Serrano, Brian Johnson, Tammy Swanson-Draheim, Brent Thompson, Dan Pietrzyk, Brandi Kejr, Lori Anderson
Three Iowa Churches Launch Vitality Cohort
One way we live out churches working together is through vitality cohorts. Navigate is one such cohort that encourages churches to partner together in pursuing greater health and mission. In November, three churches from Iowa attended the national Navigate launch event in Minneapolis.
Those attending included:
- Albert City ECC: Colin & Mary Johnson, Karmen Loving, Sheldon Youngberg, Tyler Johnson
- Carroll Renew Covenant: Courtney Cook, Nate Nelson, Jeff Grote
- Stanton ECC: Norma Olson, Rick Boyer, Laura Shafer, Matt King
Here are a couple of comments from the Iowa team:
“These three churches, with their similarities and differences, have a common destination . . . they are looking for their path to be a healthy, missional church. One of the key ingredients on this journey will be the three pastors working together to strengthen and support each other, and it is evident that a connection and a bond between Jeff, Matt, and Tyler developed over the weekend. The other key is that, as a congregation of believers, we have to look at ourselves openly and honestly.”
~ Colin Johnson, Albert City
“I was richly blessed by all those at Navigate . . . affirmed and challenged to grow . . . I have been able to find some time to go through most of my notes and clarify my scribbles. One thing I have done is look up cohort, a word on the fringe of my vocabulary. I loved how God opened up the word to me!”
~ Norma Olson, Stanton
1 [treated as sing. or pl.] an ancient Roman military unit, comprising six centuries, equal to one tenth of a legion . . . A military unit?? Well, we do have an enemy to battle!
2 [treated as sing. or pl.] a group of people banded together or treated as a group: a cohort of civil servants patiently drafting legislation . . . May we stay banded together as we eagerly seek to grow God's church in our communities and make eternal differences in lives!
Churches working together
can accomplish more than churches working alone; it’s that simple! If you would like to explore any of the vitality tools, or if you would like to consider forming your own cohort, please contact Brent Thompson, Director of Church Health, at 316-393-7574.