We had a musical start to our Sunday morning (12-19-10) service at Gospel Light Bible Baptist Church. A service dedicated to the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ saw Julia and Raquel sitting together at the piano, combining their talents to play “Ring Christmas Bells”. Up marched the entire church choir to sing and praise God with “Joy to the World”. The congregation followed with hymns that Pastor Vince Giardino declared had “tremendous truths about Jesus Christ”. During the offering, we were treated to the pairing of Carolyn on flute and Raquel on piano playing “What Child is This?”. Lastly, a beautiful and moving rendition of “O Holy Night” was song by Rachel and Julia, with Michael on piano.
Pastor Giardino opened his sermon with II Cor 1:20 to introduce “one of the greatest promises of all of history”, the hope and saving grace in Jesus Christ. In the verse, “Amen” means truth. Then Pastor spoke of the promise God made to Simeon (Luke 2:25-34), that he would not die until he saw the Christ. The Holy Ghost was upon Simeon (v25) and he was a just and devout man with high expectations of fulfilling of the promise. His life was complete when, having come by the Spirit, he saw the child Jesus in the temple. Pastor used Simeon as an example to show us, that as Christians, we should also be excited about the return of Jesus Christ.
Titling his sermon “A Christmas Amen”, Pastor Giardino asked us, “What will be the last ‘Amen’ in your life? … If your life ended today, would you say ‘Amen’?”. So many of us “compartmentalize” our faith; we are “all too quick to leave our ‘Amen’ at the door”, Pastor said. However, we should be broadcasting the truth day and night, letting the Spirit control us. “God should be in control of your ‘Amen’”, our pastor urged, that is God’s will for our lives. Every child of God should be checking thir standing with God at all times. Pastor spoke of the many deaths of this past tragic week, mentioning the various ‘Amen’s or legacies left behind. “Time and chance happeneth to them all”, Eccl 9:11, Pastor G. reminded. “What will your last ‘Amen’ say about your life?” he asked again. Here is Pastor’s sermon outline:
- Amen of Exposure – The birth of Jesus Christ can give exposure to your life. In demonstrating this, he used a camera to show how a brief instance of light exposes the film. Likewise, in a sliver of time, there was an exposure of God to the world in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the light of the world and the image of God. See Luke 4:3-4.
- Amen of Composure – God wants to compose with you, to make music with you, Pastor Giardino explained. “He wants your life to be a continuous ‘Amen’ … a symphony of ‘Amen’s … He should be making a masterpiece out of your life.”, was how our pastor put it. The famous composer Handel created his greatest work, Messiah, during his life’s lowest moments. So should we be able to say ‘Amen’ to the trials in our lives, using them as an opportunity to praise God.
- Amen on Closure – At the closure of your life, you should be able able to say ‘Amen’, to know you “fought a good fight” II Tim 4:7, as the apostle Paul wrote. Pastor showed how Paul never lost his ‘Amen’ despite opposition and defections. The grace of our Lord is what held Paul up. What will be said about you at the end of your life? The last word of the bible, our pastor reminded us, is ‘Amen’.