December 2020 Newsletter

Dear Brothers & Sisters in Christ,

If you could ask for anything, and by that I mean literally anything in all of the world … what would you ask for this Christmas? What that item you wish for fit under your Christmas tree or would it fit inside of your stocking … or neither?

As we go through this crazy time, I’m sure we would all wish that Covid-19 would go away and be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it is here and I really hope I’m wrong, but I feel it is going to be around for a while.

I have caught myself thinking, and saying, on numerous different occasions that “I hate Covid.” Now my kids would say that it is wrong to hate something because that is such a strong word, but I think it is applicable in this situation. 

I hate it not only because it has caused this severe disruption in our lives. I hate it not only because I can’t eat inside at my favorite restaurant or I can’t see family the way I would like or because it is causing me sleepless nights, upset stomachs, and more gray hair on my face and in the hair on my head.

One of the main reasons why I hate it because of what it has done, not only to our society, but to our church. We have people who won’t come to church because they are asked to register online. We have people who won’t come because people won’t wear a mask. We have people who won’t come because they don’t like the way we do things in the worship service or how this, that, and the other thing are being canceled or restricted.

We also have people on the other spectrum. We have some who won’t come because we ask people to wear a mask. We have some who won’t come because we aren’t allowing singing. We have some who won’t come because they think we are acting scared and should let people make their own decisions on what they do or will not do in church.

All this … I hate. I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! It seems as if Satan through this Covid-19 virus has taken that splitting wedge he has always tapped into the Church and is swinging his sledgehammer with all his might to try split the Church. That wedge is turning members in on each other and causing division, not only here but through the Church at large. No matter what, I know we can’t make everyone happy. We couldn’t do that before Covid-19 entered our world.

But the thing is, at least for right now, there is no long term fix to this problem. There is no silver bullet or magic potion which will make this nightmare all go away.

What we have is each other. We all make up the body of Christ. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We are family. To me, especially at Christmas time, families need to come together. To quote the movie Lilo & Stitch, “‘Ohana’ means ‘family.’ ‘Family’ means ‘no one gets left behind.’”

“No one gets left behind.” Christ came to us in the flesh at Christmas so that all, catch that, all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Not some here and some there … all.

I know on this side of Jesus’ return we will never get everything right. We will all make mistakes. Thanks be to God though that He gave us Jesus. Thanks be to God that He didn’t give us Jesus in a stocking stuffer or as a gift under the Christmas tree that would either break or get tossed aside and collect dust.  Thanks be to God that He gave us Jesus to cleanse us, to forgive us, to give us the gift of eternal life, and so that we can also forgive others.

Family members in Christ, we need to work together and help and support one another. I know this isn’t your typical Christmas newsletter article. But my biggest fear, one that causes me a great deal of anxiety, is that we will lose sight of the reason of Christmas, that we will lose sight of what God has done for each of us through Jesus and this Covid-19 thing will separate us. Jesus says the Church will prevail no matter what, with the help of God, let’s let Satan know he doesn’t belong here. Let’s come together as family, work together as brothers and sisters in Christ, and worship our great God through this and all the way to eternity.

I pray you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we celebrate the life, death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus, the greatest Christmas gift ever.

In Christ!
Pastor Mike


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