The following are special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 12, the fiftieth Lord's Day of this year 2021.
This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps.118:24). On this new Lord's Day we bring our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving unto our sovereign Creator and Redeemer, who is worthy of all honor and glory.
Moreover the LORD spake again unto Ahaz, saying, Ask thee a sign of the LORD thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the LORD. And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. For before the child shall know to refuse the evil, and choose the good, the land that thou abhorrest shall be forsaken of both her kings. ~ Isaiah 7:10-16
If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.
- Rev. J. Langerak (Heritage PRC) is considering the call to Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA). He plans to answer this call by Dec.19.
- Rev. C. Spronk is considering the call to Hudsonville PRC. He plans to answer by Dec.19. He is also considering the call to Doon PRC.
- Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. R. Barnhill (2nd week) in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. T. Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. J. Slopsema in Grace PRC; Prof. R.Cammenga and Rev. J. Mahtani in Hudsonville PRC; Rev. R. Kleyn in Wingham PRC. We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.
- For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.
- Watch for and attend these upcoming Christmas programs/singspirations in the PRC congregations:
- This afternoon after the service the Christian Fellowship Society of Hull PRC invited the congregation to a singspiration.
- Tonight at 6:45 after the evening service, the Georgetown PRC Choir (Hudsonville, MI) will be leading the audience in an evening of Christmas praise. Special numbers will include audience singing, a piano solo, and several selections by the Voices of Victory. Come share the joy with us!
- The Crete YPS (IL) will host a singspiration Sunday evening December 12.
- The Edgerton PRC Young People will host their annual Christmas Singspiration on Sunday December 19 at First Reformed Church in Edgerton (Minnesota). A collection will be received to offset the cost of attending the Young People's Convention.
- Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) will hold their congregational Christmas program on Dec.19 after the evening service.
PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:
From the PRC Contact Committee: This week Wednesday ]Dec.15], a delegation from the Contact Committee will travel to Singapore, D.V. This is a normal annual visit, visits which have lately been curtailed due to Covid. The purposes of the visit are to conduct Church Visitation with the Session of CERC, to relieve Pastor Tan of pulpit duties for a couple of weeks, and to further strengthen our relationship with the CERC. Please pray for Prof. Dykstra and David Kregel and their wives as they travel in the next week, and continue to pray for all those in other lands who we have come to know and love.
PRC Seminary Notices:
- This past week the seminary completed its fifteenth and final week of regular classes, and now enter the week of exams. Remember to pray for faculty, students, and staff as they finish the first semester this week.
- Seminary will break from Dec.19-Jan.2, the weeks of Christmas and New Years Day. The 2022 Interim course will run from Jan.3-Jan.12. Prof. R. Dykstra will be teaching The History and Principles of Christian Education. Watch for a notice soon about auditors!
- The seminary's special conference on preaching was held on Oct.28-29 at Trinity PRC. If you were unable to attend and would like to listen to the speeches, they are available here and here. The videos have also now been posted to the seminary YouTube channel.
- The Fall 2021 issue of the PRT Journal is about ready for the printer. If you missed the Spring issue, it is currently available in its digital forms on the seminary's website as well as in print. If you wish to pick up a copy, stop in at the seminary. If you want to be added to our mailing list, contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
- The seminary library and bookstore are open daily (M-F, 8-5) for any of your book and Bible needs. The bookstore is a good place to find gifts for the Christmas season! The staff is available to assist with any other needs you may have as well. Feel free to call in advance for help with any questions.
- For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.
- Hope PRC - Myanmar: Regarding the work in Myanmar, the Council reports that they were able to video conference with Rev. Titus recently and that he is recuperating well. Htay Nine is giving a word of edification over video to the congregation as they are not currently able to gather for worship. These messages are supervised by the elders and Rev. Titus reviews them prior to being delivered. [in her bulletin today] Let us remember to bring to the Lord the needs of this pastor and these saints in their difficulties.
- Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
- This week church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee will travel to Singapore to meet with the CERC. We pray for a profitable visit for Prof. R. Dykstra and elder D.Kregel.
- From Today's bulletin: We must not stand aloof from the afflictions of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the PRCA in their controversy. We cannot. Since the inception of our church here in Singapore, we have been through some of the most painful afflictions as a church together. “ ...Now is the time to show that love and care to our brothers and sisters in Christ in the US. Yes, there are differences of culture and experiences, but nothing can hinder the unity and bonds of love that we have in Christ Jesus. We are called to especially pray for them.
- The latest issue of Salt Shakers magazine - the October issue (#66) - is available online. Our young people and young adults are especially encouraged to read it.
- The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
- Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
- Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
- The last CPRC newsletter - November 2021 - is available on the website! Visit this page to view it and read it (*cf. the newsletter column on the right side of the webpage).
- Be sure to check out the new edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - November 2021 - just out this past week! Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.
- PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
- The Kleyns left for the USA this week, especially to spend time with family. They will also go to Iowa since Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach in Doon PRC on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 2. They plan to return to the Philippines on Jan. 4, Lord willing.
- Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe led the services today.
- Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Smit led her services today.
- Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is based on Heb.11:20 and titled "By Faith Isaac Confers the Blessing."
- "The REFORMED WITNESS HOUR (RWH) COMMITTEE thanks you, PRC members, friends, and donors, for your prayers and financial support during 2021. As you plan for your year-end giving, we ask that you prayerfully consider helping with one of these current RWH costs: continued broadcasts on WYLL in the Chicago area and extended Internet outreach through our website (reformedwitnesshour.org), social media, and SermonAudio. Thank you for your continued support of this important PRC ministry."
REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM
- Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.
- Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.
- For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.
- The Reformed Book Outlet is running their 25% off sale for the month of December again this year. This sale includes 25% off most books, Bibles, and Bible covers. Come visit us Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!
This Week's Thought for Contemplation
"But there in that manger we see the revelation of God’s glory! The world did not see it then, nor do the wicked see it yet today. That is why the story is embellished with quaint little manger scenes. There are shepherds around a tiny manger with an image of Christ in it. There are three Magi (as if anyone knows if there were 3), there are peaceful looking sheep, and, oh yes, let us not forget a little drummer boy. But then, why bother with a manger scene? St. Nicholas, or Santa Claus, with Rudolph and the other reindeer—these really do a better job in revealing what Christmas is all about. The unbelieving world does not see God’s glory revealed in that manger. The lowly birth of our Savior does not make the season bright! But we see the glory of God revealed to us there! There is no doubt that we see and full well understand the shame that surrounded the birth of our Savior. Not only was He born in a cattle stall but, what is more, the glory that was Christ’s as the Son of God was veiled over in human flesh. Christ looked like any other baby boy as He lay there in that manger. Who could see in His face the very Son of God—divine? But we look upon that Christ child with the eyes of faith! And we see Him for who He really is! He is God with us—our Immanuel!
"God has manifested Himself in our flesh. The Son of God came down from His glory on high and visited us poor sinners. And He did this in order that He might deliver us from our sin! We were lost people of God! We were lost and condemned in our sin. The only thing we deserved from God is condemnation and death. God’s curse lay upon us. But God in His great mercy and grace sent forth His Son in order to redeem you and me from sin and death. God in His great love for us sent His Son in order to satisfy His justice and make us righteous before Him.
"But do you see what all of this is, people of God? All these are the attributes of God, which together make up His glory! All these virtues, all these perfections of God, are evident in the birth of Jesus! And it is for that reason that the birth of Christ is in fact the very revelation of God’s glory! In Him all the virtues of God are revealed to us! And for that reason we praise God today. Glory to God in the Highest! Now we can understand why the angels were singing the praises of God there in the hills of Bethlehem."
Excerpt from a Reformed Witness Hour sermon by Rev. W. Bruinsma in 2014 titled "The Song of the Angels."