Dear Church Family,

I have a love/hate relationship with the month of December. I love what we celebrate: Christ’s birth. I know there is some debate about whether or not He was actually born on December 25, but regardless of when you think Christ was born, His birth, His coming to this earth, is worth celebrating. So whether or not we do it on His actual birthday doesn’t matter to Him. It’s whether or not we do it that matters.

This is where I get into the “hate” part of December. The busyness of this season seems to preempt any chance we have of actually sitting down and worshipping our God who became man for us. I know this is nothing new. I have family members who refuse to decorate their home or exchange gifts for Christmas because they think it takes away from its the real meaning. I know people that become, well, almost like self-proclaimed prophets speaking out against the “commercialization” of Christ’s birth. I know people who dread being with their extended family and hate the all the pressures that come with celebrating Christmas. Some go deeply into debt for gifts; others wear themselves down physically or emotionally. Few actually have the time, or take the time, to process what His birth means for us. Honestly, I am guilty of this as well.

I’m not good at keeping the distractions at bay. I’m not good at focusing on Christ’s gift to me rather than the giving or receiving of gifts. I’m not good at celebrating the life I now have through Him rather than begrudging the many people I have to “endure”. I’m not good at remembering I should not be worried about impressing guests, but rather I should be remembering a God who received guests in a barn the very night He was born. Instead of being consumed with life and not focusing on His birth, I should remember that without the cradle, the cross is meaningless.

Anyone could die. Only One could die for all mankind and in order to die, He first had to live. This is why we celebrate Christmas. Through the birth of Christ came the chance for a rebirth for all of us. While I know all of you are going to busy this next month, I encourage you to take time each week and remember just what it was God did for us. Who knows? Your times of worship may make this Christmas one of the best ones ever!

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  John 3:16

Pastor Daniel

 

November has been a full month for most of us.  Many of you got the chance to gather with family over Thanksgiving, while some avoided that option to actually have a thankful time.  No matter how you spent your Thanksgiving day, November is a good time to set aside time to look back at all of the things that have happened throughout the year:  a time to recall all the things for which we should be thankful.  While it is much easier to focus and recall on all of the things that frustrated us, things we didn’t accomplish, the heartaches we had or the physical pain we suffered, it is important that we seek out the good and glorious.  It is those victories in life that help us to keep our eyes and hearts where they should be—on the Giver of all good.  From now until we celebrate the greatest gift ever given at the end of December, be sure to spend some of your time focusing on the gifts you have been given each and every day this year. Be sure to reach out and share with others the gift that they have been in your life.  We all need encouragement.  Your words might just be the blessing they need to get through the day.

I am very thankful for each and every person that has supported the youth activities through prayer, finances, or personal time this year.  We would not be able to do much without your continued support and efforts.  Thank you so much.  It might seem like what you have given is small but even a little bit can have a huge impact in the life of our youth.

Pastor Eric