Merry Christmas! This time last week I was hoping to be praying through my Sunday morning message as I usually do on Saturday morning. Instead I woke up terribly ill and I was unable to attend worship on Sunday. So if possible, I’m even more excited about being with you tomorrow morning for worship than normal. I will be continuing the Christmas message series called Hope in the Dark. I had no idea how appropriate that emphasis would turn out to be, given the horrible events in Newtown Connecticut, a week ago Friday. Ironically, the whole Christmas story is well suited to compassionately speak to the darkest and most hopeless situations. Jesus’ story holds the power to move us to love and welcome people who seem very different than us. That’s an important step for us to be sure we are not just focused on ourselves but are moving in to the community to influence where people are hurting the most.
In addition to tomorrow morning’s service, I’m also excited about our Christmas Eve service. I plan to sing in that service and Matthew Ritchie is going to be sharing from the Christmas story. Plus there are other cool things planned you don’t want to miss. That service begins at 6 and we promise to have you back on your way to continue your other Christmas Eve plans by 7.
I encourage you to invite neighbors, friends, and family members to attend these services with you; it’s not too late. I know that can be intimidating but I encourage you to press beyond that. You will be surprised at how many will respond to a simple invitation.
I hope to get to wish each of you a Merry Christmas in person at one or both of these services.