From the Pastor

December, 2021

If Only...

Love Your NeighborThere are many of you … who think to yourselves:
“If only I had been there!  How quick I would have been to help the Baby!  I would have washed his linen.  
How happy I would have been to go with the shepherds to see the Lord lying in the manger!”

Yes, you would!  You say that because you know how great Christ is, but if you had been there at that time, you would have done no better than the people of Bethlehem.   … Why don’t you do it now?  You have Christ in your neighbor.  You ought to serve him, for what you do to your neighbor in need you do to the Lord Christ himself.

—Martin Luther

Joy Amid Suffering

Only Matthew records the holy family’s “flight into Egypt,” linking Advent with Lent and Christmas with Good Friday. In an article titled “Joy to the World/Pain in the World,” James I. Cook expresses gratitude that Matthew documents the slaughter of the innocents: “I turn to it again and again, when someone I know loses a loved one at Joy!the height of the Christmas season. It helps me — and I hope it helps them — to remember that theirs are not the first tears to fall on Christmas; to recall that there has never been a Christmas of pure peace and happiness; [to recognize] that ‘joy to the world’ has always been sung to the accompaniment of much pain in the world.’” —adapted from Homiletics

 

The Greatest Gift Giver

When we give each other Christmas presents in [God’s] name, let us remember that he has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans — and all that lives and moves upon them.  He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused.  And to save us from our own foolishness, from all our sins, he came down to earth and gave us himself. —Sigrid Undset

Peace and Blessings,

   Pastor Ed

 

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