From the             Pastor

 "So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."  (1 Corinthians 10:31).

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Dear Friends in Christ

 

Greetings!  Can it really be December already?  Actually, as I pen (?) this letter, it isn't quite Thanksgiving yet, but the stores are already gearing up for the "Winter Holidays."  (Whatever that's supposed to mean in this new age of political correctness!)

If Mary and Joseph were to see a modern Christmas, they might very well wonder what the festival was about.  The story of the infant in a manger is so tinseled over with parties and decorations, Christmas presents and commercialism, that one has to dig deep to find the real meaning.

Yet getting ready for the Newborn King doesn't mean that children should have to go without their presents under the tree.  When the child of God understands the reason for his celebrating, there is nothing wrong with celebrating.  But, if he celebrates just to be celebrating, Christmas is no longer Christmas.  A Christmas without Christ is not Christmas at all.

Over the years, many traditions and customs have become part of the Christmas celebration.  Mistletoe was borrowed from the Druid priests who used it as part of their winter sun worship.  The popularity of Christmas trees is credited to Martin Luther.  Caroling and feasting during this time became popular in England.  With the supply of food and drink so plentiful, the behavior during the days of Christmas often got out of hand.  The birth of the Savior had in some times and places been an excuse not to thank and worship Him, but to feed one's belly and get drunk.

My prayer for you during this Advent and Christmas season is that, in the midst of the excitement and trimmings, you might still be able to focus on the Christ Child.  Have fun and enjoy this special time of year with your family and friends, but take time to thank and worship Him during the many services we have at St. John this month.  Remember how He came to earth as one of us, lived a perfect, obedient life, suffered and died on the cross for us, rose victoriously from the grave, ascended into heaven and sits at the Father's right hand, from which He will come again on the Last Day to raise us and all believers to everlasting life.  In all your gatherings and celebrations this month keep Jesus Christ and His work of salvation as the center.  In this way, you may celebrate in true Christian freedom and to God's glory.

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."

God's richest blessings!   

Pastor M. <t><