It occurred to me as I settled down to write this Christmas letter to you that the greatest thing we need in our lives, this and every season, is to know that God the Father 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 children really need 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 Him our lives are incomplete. With Him our lives, even in their most complex or disappointing parts, make sense.
Jesus is with us! This is what our middle and high school youth and college age young people need to know. In the middle of their trials, identity issues, betrayals by friends, struggles to find their way in the world, and dreams for a great future, the Babe of Bethlehem, now the enthroned Christ of all Creation, is with them. His salvation gives hope to them and to you. This is the message of hope to single people, and single-again people, and young marrieds, and families with children and families without children, empty-nesters and young retired folks and senior saints. Even ministers need this message. The light we long for is the Light we have been given. To receive Him is to be warmed by that Light and shown a new way through the trials and sorrows and even joys that we have on our journey.
Our journey as a church continues. And we are thankful to be on that journey with you. We thank God for you. We commend you to your true first Pastor, even the Shepherd of our souls, the dear Savior, Jesus Christ. This Christmas we want to again bow before Him with you, happy and confident that in Him all things turn out for our good and His glory.
“I am the light of the world. He who follows 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.
Yours Warmly in the Gospel,
Mike, Mae and John Michael