Rejoice! Rejoice!

It’s hard to not get excited about this time of year. Everywhere you look, people are in a good mood; it is socially acceptable to walk down the street and sing Christmas songs; kindness and generosity are visible all around the community; and everyone is looking forward to something big.

In some ways, perhaps this is what God envisioned when He sent Jesus to be with us. Perhaps this is a glimpse of heaven on earth. If we take away the commercialism of Christmas and focus on the benevolent attitude of humanity at this time of year, then maybe this was what God had in mind all along.

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your heart and your minds in Christ Jesus,”(Philippians 4:4-7). Paul instructs the Philippians to “Rejoice…Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.”God with us gives us reason to celebrate and rejoice! May our hearts be filled with joy as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and the incarnation of God with us!

This week, I want to challenge you to make it a priority to BE WITHus in worship for one of our Christmas Eve services. We have four options beginning with our Christmas Eve Eve service on Sunday, December 23, at 5:00 PM, and including three services on Christmas Eve: a family service at 3:00 PM, and two candlelight and communion services at 6:00 and 11:00 PM. Each of the services will be unique and wonderful, and I know you will be blessed with your presence. So go ahead and make your plans today to be with us for one of the services on Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eve Eve). Additionally, I want to ask you to invite someone to worship with you on Christmas Eve. Don’t worry about how they will respond (go back and re-read verse 6 in Philippians 4). Some people will say no, but others will say yes. But this Christmas, let’s be intentional about sharing the joy we have found in Jesus Christ with those in our community.

Have a wonderful Christmas and I look forward to being with you this Sunday in worship at 8:45 and 11:00!

Together in Christ,
Matt

P.S. This Sunday will be the rescheduled Lessons and Carols at our 11:00 service. The chancel choir has worked hard on the music, and I know it will be a wonderful day of worship and praise as we hear the story of God’s love expressed through music. Please note: there will be no Children’s Church during the 11:00 service this Sunday. All children are invited to join their families for this time of worship.