December 21, 2020 Message
Dear Members and Friends,
Today is our daughter Rebekah’s birthday! She might have been born on Christmas morning, but Annie was worried that I would follow through on my idea to have a real live newborn baby in the manger for the Christmas Pageant at church. We have strived as a family to keep this day special for Becka because, at this time of the year, so many other distractions and concerns continue to crowd her day. It's so close to Christmas and it’s the first day of Winter… and how hard it was for our little girl to discover that her birthday was the shortest day of the year!
(Don’t cry, as a teenager, she relished the idea that it was also the longest night of the year!) And now… the “Bethlehem Star” appears for the first time in 800 years… did it have to happen on December 21st!? Doesn’t matter, it's always your birthday to us! Happy birthday Becka!
I know that there are many of you who worry that our times, our culture, and our world threaten to overwhelm the meaning of Christmas with other concerns and distractions. This year, 2020, there are so many things that worry us and we strive together to keep “Christ in Christmas!” Well, guess what? Fear not oh favored ones, quoting the angel Gabriel, God loves the world! Nothing can separate us from that love… nothing (Romans 8). And if you think that the celestial phenomenon that led the Magi to Bethlehem was the conjunction of planets… well think again. Stars don’t move across our sky from East to West. In other words, our science can’t explain the fact that God moves heaven and earth to save us!
My friend Judy Smith posted on Facebook… that Christmas will still be Christmas… even without gathering as a family, having a celebration around the dinner table, lots of presents wrapped in ribbons and bows… only Christ is needed for Christmas! The same one who promised to be with us always… even during a Pandemic. So fear not, friends. NOTHING can take Christ out of Christmas. May this year be especially meaningful, recognizing how much we need our God.