DECEMBER 2016PASTOR’S LETTER_________________
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see - I am
bringing you good news of great joy for all the people; to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.’”
With those words, Jesus came into the world… a Savior… the Lord... good news of great joy... the most incredible gift of love ever given to humankind. In the weakness and vulnerability of a baby, God came to us. And just as it was for Mary and Joseph, it is up to us to care for and nurture this gift in each of our lives.
This gift of love will save you. Take good care of him. Surrender your life to the care of this child, and you will be set free. Hold on to this child for dear life, and you will come to know that the child is actually holding on to you. Allow the love of this child to change you and grow in you and live through you, and you will find life. All you have to do is ask.
Advent is not only a time to contemplate the God who comes as a child and the God who comes into our hearts even now, but also the God who will come again to take us home. With great expectation, we are reminded to stay awake and be prepared, “for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
Our Sundays in December will focus on John the Baptist, Mary and Joseph as we live out our expectation in daily repentance, surrender, joy and action. On Christmas Eve, there will be two opportunities for worship. A service especially for children and families will be held in our beautiful sanctuary at 5:00 PM, and then we will gather again at 9:30 PM to celebrate the birth of our Savior with carols and candlelight. On Christmas morning, we will continue our celebration
with a birthday party complete with birthday cake! All worshippers are invited to bring a wrapped Christmas present for Jesus, so watch your bulletin announcements for further information.
I am also excited to announce a sermon series coming up after Christmas. “Who Is Jesus?” will explore some of the many names attributed to this baby who grew up to change the world… Son of God, Lamb of God, Proclaimer, Teacher, Fulfiller… all names expressing a different quality of the One who changes us.
Also in January, we will welcome Rev. Janet Durrwachter, Rev. Greg Rapp, and Rev. Dr. Kathy Kind to lead our long-anticipated Matthew 28 Consultation Weekend. Join me in praying for this team as they develop specific prescriptions for our congregation to become more effective in making disciples for Jesus Christ. There will be a pre-consultation orientation session on Saturday, December 10 at 9:00 AM for any in the congregation wanting to learn more.
Robin and I look forward to our first Christmas with you! Rather than sending out over 100 cards, please accept this as our Christmas greeting of love to our Warriors Mark family. Thank you for the gift you gave to us during Pastor Appreciation Month. We are so grateful to be on the journey with you!
Take time to hold the baby close, listen for the angels, and may the blessings of the good news bring great joy to your soul.
Pastor Eric, Robin, Kyle, (Paige!) and Zach