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New Kids Bulletins

Greetings Harbor Families!

We are starting to feel at home in our new space, and we hope you are too.  Of course, we still have things to work on, but we are excited for the extra space. 

We wanted to touch base with you all about our new weekly church bulletins that are being created for our kids.  This is a step up from our last bulletin and it also tracks with our weekly curriculum that is being taught upstairs.  The bulletin includes space for your children to follow along with the music and sermon, with room to take notes.  In addition to these pages, each week pages will be added that correlate to the lessons being taught in Children’s Church.

Our hope is that you will see these bulletins as a tool to foster good conversations about what they are learning, not just something to discard.     

Here are some ways to use this bulletin:

  1.  If your child chooses to stay in the service encourage them to take notes as they listen to the songs and sermon.  After service they can reference it when you ask them “What did you learn from the sermon?” “What did you write down today?" "Did you like one song in particular?" After they share, you can share what you learned!
  1. If your child goes upstairs during the sermon feel free to keep the bulletin with you so you can use the back pages to start conversations about what they learned in class upstairs.  (Each class hears the same bible story each week!) “Tell me what you learned in your class.” “Did you learn something new about Jesus?”  

Clearly these are just the start to great conversations with our children. We believe that the best way to disciple our children is to talk with them over and over about Jesus and the Gospel. 

We hope the lessons we teach upstairs from The Gospel Project, the worship and sermons in our regular services, and even these Kids Bulletins will help give you questions that you can discuss as an entire family.  No matter how and when (in the car home from church, at lunch, etc.) you have the conversations are up to you, but we hope you see them as an opportunity to start great conversations with your kids about Jesus and the Gospel! 

Happy New Year!

Christina Baumgartner

Director of Harbor City Kids

Family Song for Advent: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Ben here from the Worship Team! Over the past few months we have been introducing a new concept we’re calling Family Songs. The goal is to (1) equip parents to use the songs we sing to disciple their kids, and (2) help us all meditate more deeply on the words we sing.

Holiday season is upon us! I know for me it’s easy to let this season fly by without actually taking time to meditate on the amazing truth of Emmanuel, God With Us. Maybe you can relate. That’s why I chose a song that takes us deep into the wonder of Christ’s birth—Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, written by Charles Wesley in 1744. You can check out this Wikipedia page to read some of the history of this hymn. Below I have included the lyrics, links to various recordings, a few related passages of Scripture, and a short devotional you can use for yourself or to teach your kids!
Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
By Charles Wesley, 1744

Links to Recordings:
Upbeat Irish-Folk Version
Old School Choir Version
Very Slow Shane & Shane Version
Pretty Female Vocals Version

Related Scripture:
  • Haggai 2:7 - source of the hymn
  • Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 - Jesus Christ fulfilled Israel’s longing for a Messiah
  • John 10:10 - Jesus came for “every longing heart” to have life abundantly
  • Colossians 1:13-14 - Jesus has delivered us and set us free from the bondage of sin and darkness
  • Hebrews 4:14-16 - Jesus came to earth to “taste our sadness”. He sympathizes with our weaknesses, but lived the perfect life we couldn’t
  • Luke 1:46-56 - Mary’s Song of Praise as she rejoices of the promised Messiah

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Joy to those who long to see thee, Dayspring of on high, appear;
Come, thou promised Rod of Jesse, of thy birth we long to hear!
O’er the hills the angels singing news, glad tidings of a birth;
“Go to him, your praises bringing; Christ the Lord has come to earth.”
Come to earth to taste our sadness, he whose glories knew no end;
By his life he brings us gladness, our Redeemer, Shepherd, Friend.
Leaving riches without number, born within a cattle stall;
This the everlasting wonder, Christ was born the Lord of all.
Born Thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine own sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Devotional Thoughts:
When was the last time you had to wait for something you really wanted? How long did you have to wait? Nobody likes to wait very long for things. But imagine having to wait thousands of years for something that you were promised you would get! That would be crazy! But, that is exactly what the people of Israel experienced.
Long before Jesus’ birth, God had promised to give his people a very special gift, a Savior who would come to show them how much God loved them by making all the sad things come untrue. Isaiah 7:14 is just one place in the Bible that speaks of this promise. It says, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (which means ‘God With Us’.)” (See also Genesis 3:15, 12:3, Deut. 18:15; Isaiah 9:6, 53:5,9; Haggai 2:7; Zech 9:9-10, and more here) When Jesus was born, God’s people realized their waiting was finally over!
During Christmas, we celebrate that we don’t have to wait for our Savior anymore—He has come! The wait is over! More than that, we celebrate the fact that Jesus is God’s promise, fulfilled. This “long expected Jesus” brings us joy because He shows us that God will never break His promises.
Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.
Posted by Ben Parks with