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Pastor’s Letter for the December, 2017 edition of Trinity Tidings

PARSON TO PERSON

Dear Friends:

I think I am giving up on the concept of having “the perfect Christmas.” I think that one of the major stresses of preparing for the Christmas season is trying to make certain that everything is just right. We must make sure that the Christmas cards go out by a certain time. We are always in search of that “perfect” gift for the people for whom we are shopping. The gifts must be wrapped perfectly. The tree must be the right size for the room it is in, must be in the exact right location in that room, and the lights and ornaments must adorn the tree perfectly. If we are entertaining friends and/or relatives, the whole house must be in order, and the dining table and the food we serve must be so that it would make a culinary arts graduate beam with pride. If there is travelling involved, that means we must abide by a certain schedule. Is it any wonder that by the time Christmas Day is over, we are exhausted? And perhaps we are also ready to choke Andy Williams when we have heard “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” for the 145th time (never mind that poor Andy died several years ago!).

Does it really have to be this way? Is it a sin not to celebrate the “perfect Christmas?”

Bob Kaylor, one of the senior writers for the preaching journal “Homiletics”, told a story a few years back about a church that decided to hold a “Living Nativity” in the chancel for the Christmas Eve service. There was actually a real live baby playing the part of the Baby Jesus, instead of the usual predictable and quiet baby doll. As the pastor was preaching his sermon, the baby did what babies do: He filled his diaper! In a small and warm sanctuary, the aroma soon began to fill the air. It was not pleasant, but it was very real! The pastor did not miss out on the opportunity to remind his parish that when the Gospel writer John said that the “Word became flesh and dwelt among us”, he meant that God came to earth as a fully human infant. The baby Jesus would grow into a man faced with all the same trials and temptations we all must face! God becoming a human was a messy business! Jesus did not just appear to be human, he WAS human. The belief that Jesus merely appeared to be human is the hallmark of a belief called Docetism. The Jesus of Docetism is easy to admire, but the human Jesus is far more challenging to follow!

That first Christmas was far from perfect, no matter how we might try to romanticize it. The journey to Bethlehem was difficult and tiring. A very pregnant Mary riding on a donkey was likely a lot uncomfortable and perhaps even a little irritable. Joseph was anxious, hoping to find a suitable place to stay for Mary and the soon-to-be-born Jesus. The stable was filled with farm animals and more than likely smelled like it, too. You see, having it be perfect did not involve having the proper décor, the prestige people, or the perfect gift. What really mattered was that the Word became flesh and took on everything that goes with that. The great theologian Karl Barth wrote, “Jesus Christ is not only truly God, He is human like every one of us. He is human without limitation. He is not only similar to us; He is like us!”

Please don’t stress out this Christmas in an attempt to have the “perfect Christmas.” Just accept that the only perfect thing about this Christmas is the gift that God gives us. Receive, accept and love the gift and let Him live in your heart! That’s the only gift God wants from each and every one of us!

Merry Christmas.

Shalom,

Pastor Tim

WHAT 2 WATCH 4!!!!!!

Sunday, December 3—Worship at 8 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
                                            “Faithful” Study at 2:00 p.m.
                                            Advent By Candlelight @ 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 6—Advent Service @ 7—Doug Reeves

Saturday, December 9—Food Ministry/Community Supper

Sunday, December 10—Worship at 8 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
                                               “Faithful” Study at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 13—Advent Service @ 7—Wayne Suppes

Sunday, December 17—Worship at 8 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
                                               “Faithful” Study at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 20—Advent Service—Vickie Lickman & Darlene Smith

Thursday, Dec. 21—“Longest Night” Service

Sunday, December 24—Worship at 10:30 a.m. ONLY!

Sunday, December 24—Christmas Eve Services
                 Family Candlelight service @ 5:30 & 7:30 p.m.
  Communion & Candlelight @ 11 p.m.

Sunday, December 31—Worship at 8 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.


 
 
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