Chapel Team #2 was in charge of this morning’s worship service. Everyone was dressed in festive red or green to reflect the celebratory colours of the season and the last day of school before the Christmas Break. We sang a medley of Christmas carols and “lit” the last two candles for Advent.
Pastor George Mah from Logos Baptist Church was the guest speaker today. He started by sharing a story that took place in the Great Depression. A little boy really wanted to see the circus but he had no money for the $1 ticket. Seeing how upset he was, his father offered to pay for half if he managed to earn the other half with a variety of odd jobs. Eventually, he earned enough. He walked to the corner with his ticket in hand. A line of elephants came down the street. There were clowns and all sorts of exciting things to see. One of the clowns even took the ticket from his hand. At the end of the event, the father asked the boy how was the show. When he described what he saw, the father said, “Son, you didn’t go to the circus! You just saw the parade walking down the street!” Pastor Mah explained that Christmas is like that for many of us. We miss the real show and focus on the side distractions like food, gifts and parties of the season. To help us understand the real show, Pastor Mah asked a Grade 4B student to read Luke 2:8-12. He explained that Christ is the greatest gift that we could ever receive. He offers joy that lasts all year round. It doesn’t fade at the end of the holiday. Pastor Mah explained that Jesus offers lasting joy because His news is true news, not fake news. His birth was announced by angels, witnessed by shepherds, and prophesied 700 years before it happened. Even many historians agree Jesus existed on earth! Christ also brings joy because His gift of salvation is for everyone. He freely offers it to all. Pastor Mah shared about his recent vacation on a cruise ship. He met a fellow Canadian from New Market who referred to his week on the boat as his “Christmas”. Everything is fine and great while on the boat but once he leaves, there is no joy. The peace and relaxation experienced on the boat doesn’t go with him after he leaves the ship, just like the “happiness” of the holidays disappears once the holiday is over. Pastor Mah explained that Jesus is joy that lasts eternally. It doesn’t leave you if you truly know Him. He encouraged his new friend to reconnect to his Christian past and to seek Christ again. Similarly, he concluded today’s message by encouraging the Wesley community to do the same. He asked us not to be “hoarders”. We need to share the Good News, just like we share food, gifts, and material possessions with our friends, family and even perfect strangers. He ended the service by praying for the students. He asked God to help us live intentional lives to serve Him and to help us remember Christ is the reason for Christmas.
The JK/SK2 class led this morning’s ELC chapel service. After singing a few energetic songs with actions, Miss Esther shared a very special story called The Tale of the Three Trees by Angela Hunt. The story is about three young trees that grow up with dreams of becoming very specific things. The first tree wants to become a treasure chest. The second wants to become a great ship that carries a king across the ocean. The third wants to be the tallest tree that points straight to Heaven. When the trees eventually get cut down, the first tree becomes a feed box for animals. The second becomes a small fishing boat. The last one becomes a beam that sits in a lumber yard. However, each of them encounter Christ in time and have a specific purpose. The first tree eventually holds the greatest treasure, the baby Jesus. The second tree carried the King of Heaven and Earth, who calmed the sea and quieted the storm from within the small fishing vessel after his disciples woke Him. The third tree did point to Heaven as it became the cross on which Jesus was nailed when He died for our sins. After this touching tale, Miss Esther prayed for the children, asking God to help us set aside time this Christmas to remember and give thanks for sending his son to be born, live and die on earth for us.