I want to thank the congregation for your generosity in your Chrsitmas gift to me and my family. What a wonderful reflection of the Love of Christ. We are still in the Christmas Season. There are twelve days of Christmas, which ends at Epiphany when we remember the coming of the Magi and their gifts. I hope you are blessed in this new year.
This Sunday we look at John’s Christmas story, which is quite different from that of Luke. No Bethlehem, manger or shepherds.
Instead John uses the universe as a canvas on which to paint a picture of Jesus. The Word was there at the dawn of Creation as part of the power that gave birth to the cosmos. Scientists have been able to hear the echo of the big bang which brought all things into being. It resonates behind and beneath all things. All that we are and all that is around us was there when explosion occurred 15 billion years ago. Does Jesus truly echo the Word, the creator that the power behind all things would speak to us?
If he does, we should follow that star. This would be a Light in the darkness guiding us not only to Bethlehem, but to life living in harmony with creation. Jesus’ most basic teaching was to love God with our whole heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Were more people to make that the basis of their lives, the world would be a different place.
Can we trust that Jesus’ word is true or do we look foolish, when others are on the take and we are into giving? The current zeitgeist (spirit of the times) seem to be an inward turn that sees ourselves as victims in need of claiming what is ours. Jesus truly made no claim. “He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to those that did receive him and believe in his name, he gave them power to become the children of God.” Do we want to trust Jesus? Was he the revealer of the heart of God?
I will say in 44 years of ministry I have seen the grace and truth that can flow from such trust. It is beautiful to behold the care that the people of faith have demonstrated.
There was the man in Overland Park, KS who year after year took youth to the boundary waters of Minnesota so they could experience oneness with the pristine world around them.
There was the spouse in Lincoln NE who turned his bed riden wife over at least twice day so she never suffered from bed sores.
There was the teacher who started a school at our church in Rancho Cucamonga so the “challenging” students could blossom.
There were the spouses who were there for loved ones as they slipped away. My own mother was there at the end of life for her neighbor. She was there to hear her last words: “I love you”.
There was the congregation who prayed for a young couple to have a daughter and a beauty was born. There was the congregation who prayed for the couple who lost their only daughter.
Are these actions an echo of the creation? Are these the lived out Word of Truth and Grace?
I chose to agree with St. John and believe that they are. There is power in that faith. A power that comes from aligning oneself with the Word the Creator choses to express.
Lord in this season when we still look for light, may we be filled with the hope and wonder of Mary, the obedient love of Joseph, the joy of angels and shepherds, and the peace of the Christ child and share that with others. Amen
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
CHRISTMAS EVE AND CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICES – Thanks to the many comments as to how wonderful the music and message was on both days.
They are available on the website if you were unable to attend.
POINSETTIAS AND MUSICIANS – Thank you for your support if you would like to take home a Poinsettia please do so after service on Sunday.
YOUTH Confirmation Classes will begin January 9, at last, following the Sunday service. I cannot wait to get together again.
Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call. There is a sign up in the narthex. We do need more volunteers.
WELCA – No meeting on New Year’s Day. They will be meeting again Saturday, February 5.
Thanks to all who assisted with the baby shower for Rebecca and Chris, and their twins, McKenzie and Christopher. It was a wonderful event and much appreciated.
Pantry – Dates are January 8 and 22. We have need of:
Toilet paper. The recipients at the Pantry are so thankful when the Pantry staff can help by providing 2 rolls of toilet paper to them. We do not have enough for everyone, so is only given out on request. Any donations of toilet paper (Costco size or smaller) are very needed.
Tuna Helper. There is a good supply of tuna, but the Tuna Helper makes a meal. We can always use Tuna Helper.
MEMBER UPDATES AND CONTINUAL PRAYERS
- Michael Shea is scheduled to heart surgery Tuesday, December 28. The funeral for his sister Patty was this past week.
- Ann Shea lost her sister, Alice, on Thursday.
- Jessica Koenig was hospitalized with an infection on her birthday which was Dec. 20. Happily, she is recovering now.
- Fred Mazurier had a lung infection but was given medicine and the OK by his doctor to travel on his cruise.
- Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, started her chemo treatments.
- Judy Mishoe’s sister, Jayne, was diagnosed with cancer, had surgery and has a 90% chance of recovery. Pray for her sister-in-law Teresa who is recovering from brain surgery.
- Lorraine Hoeptner is now able to walk with a walker after a cortisone shot and removal of fluid.
- Eloise had a procedure to eliminate pain and is improving.
- erwin for strength and Lynda for healing.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca, daughter of Michael and Ann Shea.
- Heather, our preschool director, is having some health issues which have been postponed until the first of the year.
SUNDAY WORSHIP @ 10 am. live stream and recording available on our website. Refreshments and fellowship after services.
- January 2 – Start the New Year at Faith.
- January 9 – Confirmation Begins anew after the second service.
- January 30 – Congregational meeting.