He is there!

As we continue on in this year’s Christmas season I want to share something that is very important.  In Matthew 18:20 Jesus makes an astounding declaration.  He tells us that whenever 2 or more of us gather together in his name God is there in our midst.  This is a very common idea and we often see it as one of those things that sounds nice and we believe, but we really don’t believe it.  Jesus is there every time we gather in His name.  No really!!!  He is there.  It got me to thinking about the little song we sing about Santa Clause, but he is not the one who “sees you when your sleeping and knows when you’re awake.”  That is Jesus. 

How would it change our Holiday season if we took that truth and really believed it?  After all every gathering at Christmas time is “in His name” isn’t it?  Therefore He is there.  I know He is everywhere present, but just go with me for a moment On this.  If Jesus is there, invited or not I might add, how would it change our parties, family gatherings or shopping trips.  Would we be so inclined to forget Him and simply enjoy “Holiday cheer” if we believed he was there?  Would we get so caught up in the commercialism and completely ignore His celebration if we truly believed He is right there at the office party with us?  I don’t think so.

Many Christians argue that Jesus was not born on December 25th and that the date is a co-opting of a pagan holiday.  That is true, but when we say that we are missing the point of the celebration.  We are not celebrating the day He was born we are celebrating that He was born and if using and existing holiday worked so be it.  He was born and we are celebrating that fact.  He was there and because He was there we can now experience the reality that He is here.  He is in our midst always but there is a special promise of his presence when we gather in His name.

Soooo let this truth dominate your Christmas celebrations.  He is in our midst.  Let’s not ignore Him, it’s a celebration of His birth.  Let’s include Him in all we do this season.  I believe that if we do we may find that others will sense His wonderful presence.  When they do we will have the opportunity to explain to friends, family and co-workers what that special presense is.  We might even get to introduce them to the one who’s presence so graces our lives.  Just a thought

Merry Christmas

Pastor Bill

Greetings and Merry Christmas

This is my first time posting a blog and I am not certain how well I will do with keeping it current but here goes.

I thought I would start off with a note about the holidays.  First let me say I am a bit of a scrooge.  Now that’s my fault not anyone or anything else’s fault.  You see I am the youngest of 7 children by 15 years.  That means that my closest brother is 15 years older than I am and the rest went up from there.  When I was conceived my father’s first response was, “We can have Christmas again!”  Fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, to him that meant presents.  Not just presents but any presents the kids wanted.  We were not rich, but at that time of year I got whatever I wanted and as much of what I wanted as my parents could beg or borrow to get.  As you can imagine this caused some problem attitudes to set in concerning my view of Christmas. 

For me Christmas is being able to get as many gifts as possible for those I love.  I can’t settle for just any gifts either.  I want them to be special.  The “big” gift being the one thing I know that person really wants.  This worked OK when it was just my wife and myself.  As we continued to have children this became a little more difficult as well as more expensive.  As they grew older it became even more expensive and this more difficult.  At this point I have 6 grown children and 11 grandchildren.  You can imagine how, with my Christmas mind set, that puts pressure on my pocketbook.  Like I said, my fault.  No one else is to blame.

The thing is, I am really not repentant.  I just wish I had unlimited funds to spend.  If that were the case I would, like the reformed Scrooge of Dickens, know how to keep Christmas well.  I believe that Christmas really is about giving the best gift possible to those you Love.  I believe, for a Father in particular, that is touching the very heart of the season!  You see the perfect Father started this practice.  My earthly father was just showing me what the heavenly Father wants us to see.  God the Father gave us the most important and special gift possible and we celebrate it at this time of year.  Jesus Christ was a gift to the whole world and through His life, death, burial and resurrection we can receive eternal life to spend with our wonderful Father.

This Christmas I encourage you to give gifts.  I know you shouldn’t go into debt to do it, but give.  And as you do take time to appreciate the gift of life the Father has given in Jesus.  If you haven’t received that life than read Roman’s 10 and learn how to receive the greatest Christmas gift ever given.  Trust me, it’s perfectly designed just for you.