THE CLARION

Ahh, Christmas! It is indeed The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (I know you just sang that in your head). With this season comes a wonderful collection of sights, smells, and sounds. The beauty of seeing your family and friends gathered around a hot meal, the wonderful peppermint concoctions coming out of your grandmother’s kitchen, and the sound of carols, being sung by a choir, with folks dressed up like esk…(sorry, almost broke out into song there again.)

For Sheila and I, all these things are blessings we enjoy as well. But along with these treasures comes negotiations. You see, Sheila loves Christmas, but she has what some would say is a reasonable expectation about decorations. She thinks they should go up a little later in November, maybe even after Thanksgiving. I, however, prefer to draw out the celebration as long as possible, with it beginning to look like Christmas immediately after Halloween. So, each year Sheila and I will pull out the calendar together and find a time to decorate that’s somewhere in the middle.

With that in mind, we decorated last weekend and one of the very first things we put up was the tree. In fact, the tree was up for a few days before we put any decorations on it. And yes, as soon as it was up, it was plugged in as often as it could be. Man, it was beautiful. With just the warm lights' glow and the evergreen color, I felt like I was walking in a winter wonderland. Then, on Monday, we dressed her up a little. That tree looks like a whole different pine --with red glass balls, and a skirt to envy…man oh man, how lovely are her branches.

You see, that tree was beautiful when it had nothing and it’s beautiful now when it has everything a tree might want. They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And that might be true for a tree, but what about you and me? For whatever people may say about us, God is the one whose beholding matters above all else. And you know what his word says? I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:14) You see, whatever life might look like for us, whether we feel like a pile of needles or like we’re a tree in a grand hotel, to the Lord who made us – we are wonderful.

The holiday season is a time of reflection. If we aren’t careful it can also be a time of self-reflection that isn’t always good. This Christmas, make a point of knowing who you are in Jesus. Whether you’ve faced loss and the pain weighs you down, or you’ve made mistakes that have left you lonely or life just wasn’t what you’d hoped last Christmas, thank God. Thank God that he made you, he loves you and in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord you are whole, you are enough, and you are redeemed.

Make a point of joining us as we worship our Savior, Jesus Christ, who was born, died, and rose from the grave. Be a part of our Christmas Candlelight service on December 8th at 6:30 pm as we kickoff the season. Join us for our Christmas lunch right after service on December 15th, and be here with us for the Christmas Eve service at 9 pm as we celebrate all Jesus' birth means for us today and forever. This is a time for worship, a time for celebration, and a time for family. So, let's rock around the Christmas tree together and I hope you have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Jingle All the Way (just one more for good measure),

William

 

 

 

 
 

 

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