December 2017 Message

So, this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun

So asked John Lennon and Yoko Ono in a song they co-wrote and then released in 1971. The song is titled, “So This Is Christmas.” We don’t necessarily think of John and Yoko as theologians, or even Christian by any stretch of the imagination, but they do ask a very pointed and relative question related to our faith and how we live it as people who believe in Jesus Christ, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. What does Christmas mean? And what has it become in our lives and in our American culture?

When you want to know the answer to any question you don’t know, what do you do? You “Google It!” And so, I did “Google It” to find out the answer to what Christmas is really all about and its true meaning. As luck would have it I found the official website for Christmas. So, I investigated further the true meaning of Christmas and you can too at www.christmas.com.

This is what the “Our Vision & Philosophy” tab on the website had to say: As the Official Website of Christmas, we have a special duty to our visitors to share with you our vision for the website and for that which we may become. So… where do we begin?

First of all, we believe Christmas is for sharing. Christmas is for sharing with family — your children, brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, grandparents, and even that odd little uncle who sits in the corner and chirps….

Get in the Christmas spirit, share stories and Christmas parties, laugh at the year gone by, and look forward to the year ahead. Christmas is a time to share your gratitude with clients and reset for new opportunities that await you. Christmas is for sharing with the world, with your church, charity, a neighbor, or even share a ‘Merry Christmas’ with a stranger. Regardless of faith, the Christmas season is filled with hope, passion, and a desire for peace and goodwill towards all mankind.

I also looked under the images on Google for Christmas. In the first 200 images on Google associated with Christmas, there are more images of dogs and cats wearing a Santa hat than images of the manger scene. There were only two of them, and one was a picture for an ad for Willow Tree nativity figurines.

The History channel defined Christmas as A Christian holiday honoring the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas evolved over two millennia into a worldwide religious and secular celebration, incorporating many pre-Christian, pagan traditions into the festivities along the way. Today, Christmas is a time for family and friends to get together and exchange gifts.

I would say we have devolved the meaning of Christmas and cheapened it and made it into a season of Hallmark moments and sentiments devoid of the real implications of what the birth of Jesus means regardless of the date or season. When I think back on my Christmas experiences and ponder what Christmas means I am drawn to how Linus described and defined what Christmas means to Charlie Brown and the world. I am drawn by the simplicity yet the profoundness of his understanding of the meaning of Christmas and I hope you are too.

Charlie Brown: Isn’t there anyone, who knows what Christmas is all about?!
Linus: Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about. Lights please?

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them! And they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, “Fear not! For, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all my people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, and good will toward men.’

“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

Christmas comes upon us so quickly as we so often bemoan every year. I hope and pray this year you can pause during the Christmas rush and remind yourself and others of the true meaning of Christmas. Put aside the shopping and parties, the boxes and bags, the gifts and the bows, and remember, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” Christmas can and does mean many different things to many people, but the reality of Christmas is that it is the celebration of the birth of Emmanuel, God with us. We celebrate the one true God who loves us beyond measure and has called us to do the same by loving our neighbor as our self. We have been given the ultimate present – the gift of a savior who is Christ, the Lord.

So, this is Christmas, And what have you done?

Christmas Blessings,
Pastor Paul

Come and Celebrate

We gather in worship to celebrate the joys of life, to learn, and to work together in response to the needs of others. For Jesus said " I am the light of the world he who follows me will not walk in darkness but will have the light of life." Life is too valuable to experience alone. We welcome you to participate in our activities and programs to pass that light along.

RSS Daily Bible Verse

  • Genesis 9:8-17 February 18, 2018
    ​Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, "As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the […]
  • Psalm 32 February 17, 2018
    ​While I kept silence, my body wasted away Through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

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