Words From The Pastor - December 2014
“But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Every year, at our Christmas Eve service, we hear once again the story of the birth of Jesus from the Gospel of Luke. We hear the angel’s words to the shepherds, words of great joy that the Savior has entered into our world. Many of us have known joy, or at least we have a good feeling at Christmas time. Family gatherings, gifts, lights, special parties and events contribute to the festive atmosphere.
I wonder, though, do we experience the joy that the angel spoke of? Joy, in the spiritual sense, comes from the belief that the love of God is a real power and presence in our lives. We are not to fear or worry about the circumstances of daily life but to live confidently in the knowledge that God’s life-changing love is always nearby. The “great joy” that the angel speaks of is the joy that God has come near to his people. Jesus was not the Messiah that the Jews were looking for. He was, and is, much more. Jesus is God’s gift of joy to us all. All we have to do is receive it. But, the joy of Christmas will be short-lived unless we can give it away. Giving away our joy increases it for us. Keeping it for ourselves diminishes it.
So what shall we do to experience the joy of the angel this Advent season?
First, read our Christ Church Advent Devotional booklet every day. These devotionals are written by your fellow Church members as a daily pathway to connect with God. Take time to reflect on the meaning of each devotion and then offer your own prayers.
Second, worship with us every Sunday in Advent including the 7:00 pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Service. Use the time we share in worship as a doorway to find God in a deeper way.
Third, develop your own personal way to give your joy away. This may be time spent with someone who needs a visit or a volunteer activity through one of our Christ Church benevolences.
May the “good news of great joy” fill your heart this month and bless your life!