December – January Newsletter

Brothers & Sisters in Christ!

            Here we are at the beginning but yet the end of a year. As we enter into the season of Advent, we begin a new church year. And yet at the same time we have entered into December 2023, the last month of this year. So maybe we have come the beginning of the end or maybe the end of the beginning. Either way, as we enter the beginning of one church year and wrap up another calendar year, there is one thing which should be at the center of both the beginning and the end … Jesus!

            During the beginning of the church year, we talk about not only the coming of Jesus as a baby at Christmas, but we also talk about the coming of Jesus at the end of time as He reveals Himself to us as the Lord and of Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. And while we look forward with great anticipation to the coming of Jesus at the end of time, we are reminded as we close out this year that Jesus, the very Son of God, lowered Himself from the glories of His heavenly realm to be with you and me. He humbled himself becoming like you and me. Paul eloquently says it this way in Philippians 2:8, “And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!

            In other words, as we prepare ourselves during this Advent season to welcome the King of Kings, we do so remembering that the Lord over all creation humbled Himself. As I said in a Christmas Eve sermon a few years ago, Jesus came down to get messy, to get dirty. He came to get dirty as He was born in a feeding trough in a manger, He came to get dirty as He took all of our sins upon His shoulders, and He came to get dirty to die … die for you … die to forgive you of all of your sins.

            We like to say that Jesus is the reason for the season, and He is, don’t get me wrong. But Jesus didn’t come to be pampered and to be treated like a little baby. No, Jesus came to get dirty for you and me.

To some, Christmas isn’t a time where they can be merry and sing yuletide carols while watching chestnuts roasting over an open fire and wishing for a white Christmas. Christmas is a dark and sad time because a particular loved one is not present. Jesus came to get dirty for that person. He came so that the loved one, so that you and me may know that death is not the end. Jesus came to get dirty so that when He comes again … He will reach down into the grave of the Christian and pull them up to everlasting life.

            Christ came at Christmas not for us to put up trees, ornaments, and lights, not for us to get together as a family and eat too much food … no, Jesus came at Christmas to give you the greatest gift you could ever receive … forgiveness of your sins and the promise of everlasting life in the new heavens and the new earth.

            During the beginning of this new church year, as you prepare for the end of the calendar year but also as you prepare for Christ’s glorious return, may the peace of Christ rule in your heart and guide you in all the things you do this Advent and Christmastide!

            A blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas to you all!

            Pastor Mike


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