Christmas is the time when we celebrate God crossing the border. Jesus is called Emmanuel, which means “God is with us,” says Matthew. John tells us that “The Word (referring to Christ) became flesh and lived among us.” We call this idea the Incarnation, the idea that God became human. He left the glories of heaven to experience the painful realities of earth.
He was willing to leave His home and come to us. Through that act of love, we can know salvation and God’s grace. In 1755, a Connecticut resident was willing to leave his home, pack up his family and travel south and west to eventually end up in the Sandy Creek area of what was still the British colony of North Carolina. His name was Shubal Stearns.
Stearns and his group started several churches in 1755 and 1756 in central North Carolina and eventually through Virginia and South Carolina too. One of those churches was Rocky River Baptist. Some of the ancestors of present-day members of Rocky River Baptist Church heard the gospel and received God’s grace because Shubal Stearns was willing to leave his home and preach the good news in a new land.
Today, thousands of men and women have answered the call to leave their homes to go to new places around the world and do the same. They are providing humanitarian relief and a gospel witness in places where there has not been one before. During the Christmas season, we remember these men and women in special prayer and by giving to missions efforts through Baptist mission agencies. Please pray about giving a gift to support the spread of the gospel around the world in your church.
Of all the things we can do to make the world a better, safer place. Sharing the story of the Prince of Peace is the most important. Please consider making a donation to missions through the Global Missions Offering of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship or the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions of the Southern Baptist Convention. It may be the most important gift you give this Christmas.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC