Pastor’s ponderings

Christmas is just over a week away.  Can you believe it?  I can’t.  I don’t know where the time has gone.  Even over the course of the pandemic, 2021 has flown by, hasn’t it?  Perhaps is just me, or at least this phase of life that I am going through, for as I have gotten older, it seems that time goes by evermore quickly and changes come more rapidly.

            I can remember celebrating Christmas as a child with my sister and parents, opening gifts with excitement.  I can remember celebrating Christmas with my wife’s family when we first got engaged, looking around at all these new people who were now part of my family.  I can remember celebrating with my young son, and later with our grown “boys,” as they thanked us for what they had received.  I remember celebrating Christmas with my wife, alone, that first year they had all moved out of the house, cherishing the memories that had gone by and anticipating new ones to come.  And, now, I am looking forward to our first Christmas with our grandchildren, as they scurry about in wide-eyed wonder (even though they’re probably still too young to ever remember what will take place).  The reality is every year has been about some change or another.  Every Christmas season brought with it some type of evolution in life.    

            We’ve all been through it, haven’t we?  We’ve all had holiday seasons that were good, and those that were not so good.  Every year brought some sort of change in our lives or in the lives of those around us, making us question – what will next year bring?  Will it be better or worse?  But here’s the thing: I know, from the depth of my heart, that there is something about this season that will never change.  The Reason for the Season never changes!  Hebrews 13:8 declares: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (NRSV).  Glory to God!  Hallelujah! Amen!

            In the midst of new gatherings, new people, new presents, new decorations, and new locations, Jesus remains the same.  Our Lord and Savior remains the same year after year after year.  In the midst of our changing circumstances, Jesus never budges; he is still right there with us.  In the midst of alterations to our situation, Jesus never waivers; he is still strong and secure in our presence.  In the midst of it all, there is still Emmanuel, God with us, yesterday, today, and forever.

            As you prepare for the week ahead, the ever changing celebrations that you may participate in, let us all keep an unwavering focus on the unchangeable one – Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Reason for the Season.

                                                            Holiday Blessings upon you all,

                                                                        Pastor Steve

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