December 2014

Post date: Nov 24, 2014 7:37:45 PM

Dear People of God,

Pastor Timothy Wengert tells about a strange medical condition that afflicted his older sister when he was a teenager. She developed stiffness in her left shoulder and elbow which caused her arm to extend straight out in front of her. Her left wrist remained flexible and her right arm was completely fine. But the fingers on her left hand also tended to stick straight out. You guessed it. She was engaged to be married and was sporting a diamond ring which she wanted to show to practically everyone she met.

As Christians we should be that ready to show off the diamond in our lives, which is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Truly Jesus is our priceless treasure and our pearl of great price. May we be ready, willing and able to display the Savior to friends, family, neighbors, strangers and folks longing for love and meaning in their lives. Perhaps during the month of December, people are especially receptive to hearing some truly good news, as opposed to just more commercial hype. We can show and tell them about God loving us so much that he sent his own Son Jesus to be born as a humble baby in a manger in Bethlehem. We can show and tell about this Jesus giving up his life on a cross to forgive the sins of the world and to conquer death for all believers. We can show and tell about Jesus rising from death to life eternal and leading us to new and everlasting life with him. And as followers of Jesus we can extend God’s hands of mercy by caring for our neighbors in need. From November 30th through December 23rd we celebrate the season of Advent in the church year. Advent means “the coming”: the coming of God’s Son Jesus to us. As we move into the Christmas season on December 24th through January 5th, we certainly celebrate Jesus’ first coming among us as a baby, born to Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem. During Advent we also focus on Jesus’ second coming, when he will bring God’s kingdom to completion. And since we have no idea when this will be, we live lives of faith and humble service in readiness to meet our Savior. But also during Advent we think about Christ’s constant coming among us in Christian community, in worship, by the Spirit, in bread and wine and baptismal water, and in feeding, clothing and sheltering the hungry poor in our midst. Let’s extend (both) our arms and show off Jesus! He truly is the reason for this season!

May the peace of Christ be with you and guide you in December and always,

Pastor Dennis