Galatians 4:4-5 ~ But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born[a] of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

    We celebrate the birth of Christ this month and then we put a bow on 2020 and move into 2021. 

    I love Christmas time.  Our family is not big on decorating or lights on the house.  Instead, we prefer to keep as much of our focus as possible on Jesus, the reason for the season.  Perhaps, if were blessed with grandchildren in the future, we will return to a more decorated season, but for now I am very thankful the simplicity of focusing on the Christ child.

    There are some traditions I hold dear.  One of them is the lighting of the Advent candles each Sunday as we approach Christmas.  We are afforded the opportunity to focus on a specific element of Christ as we prepare for the Christmas Eve Celebration.  For me, the 1st Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a month-long immersion into the Gift of God, Jesus Christ. 

    If the 1st Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of our Christmas focus, the Christmas Eve service marks the conclusion.  All the candles on the wreath will be lit, candles representing Hope, Love, Joy and Peace, and then the Christ candle will be lit.  After the Christ candle is lit the first four candles will be extinguished, leaving the Christ Candle as the only light in the sanctuary.  Then, from candle to candle, the Light of Christ will be passed to each person in attendance until the sanctuary is filled with candlelight.  Then, as we sing Silent Night, we will take the Light of Christ out of the sanctuary and into the world. 

    And that is our mission every single day.  To take the Hope, Love, Joy and Peace of Christ into the dark world.

    It was a dark world that night in Bethlehem over 2,000 years ago.  It had been 400 years since there had been a Word of the Lord.  The people were under cruel Roman governance.  It was looking hopeless.

    Much like today.  2020, by any measure, has been an extremely hard year and I can’t wait to move on.  I am praying that 2021 be a much better year.  Regardless, I know this to be true.  God sent His Son at the absolute perfect time for the 1st Advent.  He will send His son back at the absolute perfect time for the Second Advent!  But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son….

    Even so, Lord Jesus, Come!

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

    God bless, Pastor Rob



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