Pastor Mike's Musings: Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ
2020 has been a year unlike any that most of us have ever experienced. Looking back we see the hardships that many have endured including sickness, death, suffering and financial strain. It has been a time that I think I am safe in saying most people would not want to go through again.
Although we have each been affected in different ways, no one has escaped the hurt and pain that this year has dealt. As we approach Christmas, this year in particular, it can help us remember the stories about those who have gone before us. I am reminded of the wars that were fought in the past 120 years and the people that sacrificed themselves for what they believed were just causes.
There have been plagues and diseases that have crippled, maimed and killed millions.Fortunately life goes on and regardless of the pain, we have hope given to us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ. It is a time to pause and think about the true meaning of the baby that came to
redeem all of mankind through his birth, death, and resurrection. He set the example to show us how to live in a world that is not fair, not always just, and is filled with pain. God the Father has been with mankind from the beginning and he sent His son Jesus to live among us in this imperfect world.
Just as God has been with mankind from the beginning, the scriptures tell us He is with us today, tomorrow, and forever more. It sometimes feels like there is nothing good in the world, but that is a misnomer. There are many wonderful things going on around us and in our own lives. Some people might ask how or where, but we just need to look around.
One of the things that I see happening is the love, care, and concern for our brothers and sisters. There are people who have always been giving to those in need, but this year there are many more who are showing concern and love . The Bible tells us the poor and the needy will always be with us. This year we are more aware of those individuals and
families who need our help more than ever before. Often it is someone who has never encountered the hardships like 2020 has brought them.
Charity is a word that sometimes has a negative connotation, but for a Christian it should be seen as a calling or a positive action to help those who are not as fortunate as us. Charity is an opportunity to help others in their time of need. Helping others is a chance to love them and help them through the tough times. Charity is a chance for us to evaluate
ourselves and our motives when it comes to helping people.
The Bible tells us "to love one another just as Jesus loves us" (John 13:34b). This is a true test of our faith when we help others. When we think about this past year, a lot of different words and thoughts come to mind. Not all of them are good or positive, be we think of them anyway. When I was young (8 or 9 years old) I had a Sunday School teacher that would quote to us the words of an old song. It went something like this- "You've got to accentuate the positive, Eliminate the negative,
Latch on to the affirmative, Don't mess with Mister In Between." The song was recorded by Johnny Mercer, Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and other artists. I don't know why or how I remember those words but for some reason I do. Maybe it is because it is one of the great truths that we need to live by. Jesus taught us to love and serve, to believe and follow, and to do unto others as we want done to us. In other words, be positive in all that we do, say, and think.
I am sure that we all know people that are seemingly always happy and fun to be around. They make you feel better about the world just by being with them. By the same token, we all know people that are always negative, unhappy, and griping about everything. During this Christmas season, let's strive to be the positive influence on everyone we meet.
Let's share the love.
Let's share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Let's be a light to the world and move beyond the discomforts that 2020 has dealt us. Blessings to all. May the grace and peace of the Lord be with you. Merry Christmas
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