Tuesday, December 21, 2010

December's newsletter article: The reason for the season

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:6-7

I can’t believe December is here again. I feel like it was just a second ago that Veronique and I were busily moving; and yet a year has come and gone, December is here, and the Christmas season has begun. Decorations are going up, plans are being made to visit friends and relatives, the children are practicing for their annual performance, which will be on the 19th, the ladies are baking up a storm for the cookie walk, and the advent wreath is going up. Soon, we will be gathering with friends and families, getting ourselves involved in that frantic race to finish our Christmas shopping, and going to Childrens Christmas pageants. Soon, we will be busily decoration our houses, and preparing for open houses.

I have found myself looking forward to the Christmas season with a sense of anticipation. Joseph is getting to the point where he can take part in placing a few things on the tree (a few), and he will love the bright lights, and the gifts under the tree (if he can leave them wrapped). I’m excited to get up, and have the fun of tearing those gifts open with him.

But in the middle of all the fun and business, my encouragement to you is, don’t lose sight of the reason for Christmas. As we get busy shopping, planning events, decorating, and doing the million other things that we do at Christmas, don’t lose sight of the reason for the season, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ.

This is where our focus should be, on the God man who came to reconcile the world to God. On the baby, who came in the midst of obscurity, and changed history forever. James Francis noted that “He was a man born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. When he was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever were built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life”.

As we come to the Christmas season, don’t lose sight of the main event, keep your eyes fixed on Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, the one who came as a child, showed himself to be God as a man, went to the cross for you, and will return to rule the living and the dead.

In Christ,
Pastor Jonathan

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