Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
It occurred to me as I settled down to write this note to you that the greatest thing we need in our lives, this and every season, is to know that God is with us. This surely is the message of Christmas and thus the message of our faith. I love the way one writer put it:
“What begins in the stable ends in our salvation. That’s why we celebrate Christmas, and it’s the best and only reason the human heart needs” (Charles J. Chaput).
Jesus is with us! This is what our families, our neighbors, and the world really needs to know. Jesus is not only the Babe of Bethlehem, but He is also the Son who was born to live for our righteousness, and to die for our sins. Christ is the missing piece to life. Without Christ our lives are incomplete. With Christ our lives, even in their most complex or disappointing parts, make sense.
Our journey as a church continues. And I am thankful to be on that journey with you. I thank God for you. I commend you to your true first Pastor, the Shepherd of our souls, the dear Savior, Jesus Christ. This Christmas, as we journey to Bethlehem to again bow before the manger; happy and confident, we know that in Christ all things turn out for our good and for God’s glory.
“I am the light of the world.
Those who follow Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
This is our gift. This is our Christmas. This is our hope for every New Year.
As we journey, I hope that you will be able to join in as fully as you are able. Volunteering at the Regional Food Bank on Dec. 7; or, our All Church Christmas Pot-Luck Lunch and Caroling (for those who choose to) on Dec. 8; helping make Christmas wishes come true with our ‘adopted’ family, the Hodby’s; or coming to our second Be Our Guest Free Community Dinner, or showing Christmas hospitality to all the groups that use Bethany’s facilities during the Week of Good Cheer!, and doing all for others in the name of Christ!
May the world see our good works and give all praise and thanks to God!