It is November 11th and I am trying to get all my ducks in a row before Linda and I leave for a wedding in Indiana. Our Midwest trips always include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. That’s where our relatives live. We will have the opportunity to connect with all of our siblings. Linda is most anxious to see her sister, Ruth, again who is dealing with cancer. By the way, we leave on the 15th and will return on the 22nd. Our DCE, Brett Lindemood, will be covering the worship services on the 20th and Lynn House will give the message in both services on the 27th. I appreciate them giving me a break. We will be here for the Thanksgiving Eve service on Wednesday the 23rd. I don’t want to miss the great soups, salads, and desserts the folks at FCLC make. That service is a great time to invite guests because of the fellowship and great food. The message for Thanksgiving Eve will be “The Love Pill” based on Paul’s letter to the Thessalonian Christians.
The above may all be old information by the time you receive it, but I know that Joan, our Church Secretary, is trying to get the newsletter to you as soon as possible this time of the year. Look very carefully at the church calendar. Christmas Day and New Years’ Day both fall on Sundays. The plan is to have only one worship service on those days. If the 8:15 worshippers would like a worship service on those days, let me know, Linda and I will be there to have a 8:15 service. So there are some of the calendar things I felt I should address for you. Now the challenging part of this time of the year.
This is the time of the year when most children and many adults are thinking about Santa Claus coming to town. That means many different things to all of us. It means a super busy time of the year when we want to get everything right: presents, meals, entertainment for friends and relatives, best behavior, participating in our children and grandchildren’s Christmas programs, and of course, going to the worship services at our church. It’s intense – tell me about it! And it is good. There are many great things about the celebration and the festivities this time of the year. I really do love it.
As Christians we know that the focal point should not be that Santa is coming to town, but that around 2000 years ago Jesus came to earth, GOD incarnate, God in in a baby body, WOW! It is hard for us to imagine, but Christmas is about God connecting with mankind by becoming ONE just like us. It was promised in Genesis chapter 3, and the Apostle Paul explained the fulfillment of that promise to the Galatian Christians (4:4-5) “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as His children.”
So – what does this mean? That is always the Lutheran question? What are we going to do in the coming weeks with Jesus and Santa – with the real focus of what Christmas is about and the secular and worldly focus? I really don’t know for you, but I’m going to try in worship with you and with my family and loved ones to remind all that JESUS CAME TO EARTH TO CONNECT US WITH GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. That should be our primary focus. I love all the family connections, the exchange of presents, the celebrations, but as followers of Jesus as the Christ Child, let’s keep the priority focus on what Christmas and really what life is all about.
It’s about God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ Who paid for your every sin!