During Crossway’s Go Saturday in December, a team of us went to a close by neighborhood to rake random people’s yards. I was happy to participate in this gospel outreach to our neighbors and was happy to leave notes on the doors of houses whose yards we raked where owners were not home. I was happy to interact with a man who was very grateful for the help; but when I knocked on the door of a house and was met by a man who was pretty rough around the edges and additionally not seemingly appreciative of us spending our morning to help him, my enthusiasm and attitude soured a bit. My attitude turned from charitable to condescending. That is where God’s grace kicked in and I became the beneficiary of a wonderful Christmas gift, when God took His rake to my heart during my advent devotional reading. (Side note, if you need a great devotional for either Advent or Easter pick up the Nancy Guthrie’s books in our book store – your heart will be filled). I read these words from Tim Keller:
God is deliberately working with people the world despises. The very first people to witness his nativity and resurrection are people whom the world looks down on…. in one of Martin Luther’s nativity sermons he asks, “Do you know what that family would have smelled like after the birth [in a stable] when they went out into the city? And if they were standing next to you how would you have regarded them?”…He is saying, I want you to see Christ in the neighbor you tend to despise, in the political party you despise, in the race or class of people you despise. Christmas is the end of thinking you are better than someone else because… God had to come to you!
My heart was full of gratitude toward God! He not only “became poor so that you by His poverty might become rich” (2 Cor 8:9), but He specifically applied the light of the gospel to my heart where I didn’t even realize my darkness. He did it through personal circumstances and timely teaching. God did not let my heart stay in prejudice, but rebuked me swiftly and gently to free me from bitterness unto gratitude and joy. What a great Christmas gift – freedom to see my need through the one I despised, freedom from prejudice – freedom to love like my Saviour! How I needed that raking away of dead leaves way more than anyone in that neighborhood.
As the New Year approaches take time to consider whether the Lord may come to “rake the leaves” of your heart. If he does, let Him make you rich through His poverty this coming year. Remember, He comes not to the well kept and deserving, but to the one with leaves in their yard and attitudes that need changed. When Jesus comes, He not only saves us, but he cleans us up as well!
Christmas Eve Service — The Crossway family gathered for a special celebration of the birth of our Savior. Click on the photo to view the gallery from the service.
“Prepare Him Room” Concert — On Wednesday evening, Crossway hosted a Christmas worship event led by Bob Kauflin and Sovereign Grace Music. Click on the photo to view the gallery from the concert.
New Members — During the Sunday meeting Pastor Pete officially welcomed Jackie Barry, Anthony and Sayira Brubaker, Rachel Casciotti, Michelle Donaldson, James and Denise Fair, Greg and Monica Gehman, Josh Groff, Alex and Kelly Hershey, Nathanael and Laura Kaiser, Timothy Long, Hannah Privitera, Christian Shaw, and Josh and Molly Zulick into the Crossway family. To view more images, including one from the special music during the offertory, click on the photo above.
Baptisms – yesterday our church family had the joy of witnessing 4 believers follow the Lord in water baptism.
We are now 3+ years into our building, and many things have settled in. We’re used to the ebb and flow of church life in our permanent home, and we’ve begun to establish fun traditions like the Christmas Tree Lighting Service. We are realizing the many benefits that have come with having a place of our own. And Dave Howell has begun to step into his role as our part-time building administrator. He’s doing fine work.
One of the biggest benefits of our building is permanence. Folks in the community know where we are now. We’re connected to events like 5th Quarter and Cheesesteak Sunday. And they know where to find us: 330 Barbara Street.
One of the interesting notes we have found in our visitors’ cards is that many, if not most, of our guests have come because they have seen the large “CROSSWAY CHURCH” sign wall out along Barbara Street. That, coupled with the “Sundays at 10 am” banner, has served to let them know where we are and when we meet. Quite a few have said, “I would drive past that sign and think, ‘I need to visit that church.'”
For years our plans have included adding a more permanent sign that will serve to inform passers-by of what we do as a church. The past few weeks that sign has become a reality. Here’s the main sign that will be up most of the time (sorry for the poor lighting):
However, we can also do occasional events, like Christmas Eve:
And we have a sign for ongoing events like Christianity Explored:
Through it all, these signs are just tools for drawing our neighbors to hearing the gospel and to be transformed by the work of the Spirit. Gospel clarity is the witness that we are seeking the most for Crossway Church.
Expectant Mothers at Crossway
- Jodie Burling — December
- Kerri Sensenig — February
- Lydia Moser — February
- Hannah Davis — April
Couples Pursuing Adoption
If you are pursuing adoption and would like to be put on this prayer list, call the church office.
Turkey Bowl — Tim Cranmer (bottom, right) organized a flag football game on Thanksgiving morning. Eric Kinderwater (standing, left) performed the unenviable task of refereeing the game, played at Comet Field near the Crossway property. Dan Rose (bottom, center) reports that despite his absorption of a stiff-arm or two from Tim when trying to “tackle” Tim’s flag, a fun time of fellowship was had by all.