Beyond the Pulpit – December

Tis the season to be jolly … It really is. Not because we are decking the halls with boughs of holly. It is the season to be jolly because we get to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. The world just seems to be happier during Christmas. We get to spend devoted time “with our friends and family. At no other time of the year is it as “expected” that family will be together. (And of course, family being together means that we get to eat all the yummy food and desserts!)

At church, Christmas means Advent is upon us. A time to celebrate the anticipated arrival of the Messiah.  And while that typically means His arrival as an infant, it is also a time for us to look forward to His anticipated arrival in the future Don’t get me wrong, I’m not meaningHe should return right now … there are still too many souls that need saving for us to want that to happen yet. What I do mean is that while we celeb~ate the arrival of the Christ Child, we need not lose focus on the fact that He will return again in the final victory.

As we celebrate the virgin birth, let us remember to tell others about what Christ accomplished: after leaving the manger. While His birth was amazing and necessary, the most important part of His life came with his death and resurrection. As the Ball Brothers sing, “The beginning of the story is wonderful and great, But it’s the ending that can save you and that’s why we celebrate.” As we celebrate the baby, let’s not forget the cross.

Let’s also not forget those whose seasons may not be filled with jolly. Our world has turned its attention to buying the latest and greatest gifts for others. It has turned its attention to the greatest Christmas light shows. It has turned its attention to the commercialization of Christmas. For many, this causes feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness. We must watch for those who are not smiling or seem down during the holiday. Those are the ones who need to be reminded that Christmas is not about all the things the world says it is. They are the ones who need to hear about the birth and the cross the most.

Look for ways to provide hope to those who need it most during Christmas. You can do that by smiling at others, by shaking someone’s hand, or buying them a coffee. You can help with the shopping, wrapping, and giving out of Christmas boxes in Flora. You can pray. You can invite others to church or bring the church to them. Many times, it won’t cost you a d

ime to provide a little hope to others. It will cost you your time. Time is our most valuable commodity and it is the thing that others want the most. Take the time this Christmas to stop, look around, and love. I promise you that you can do it and you do have the time in your schedule to make it happen. Five minutes here and there may not seem like much to you, but it will the mean the world to those you give it to. And you never know what impact that five minutes will have in providing hope to others.

Merry Christmas!
Pastor Kim