In Exelsis Deo!

Have you ever been overcome with excitement and joy about a gift you have received? I can remember one Christmas when I received a toy that I had wanted more than anything else. After opening gifts of socks and pajamas, I could hardly contain my excitement when I finally received the gift I had wanted. It was a wonderful feeling.

But there are other times when I have found myself excited for a gift that I did not ask for and did not know that I wanted or needed. Sometimes, this excitement is preceded by a puzzling look to the gift-giver as I question their decision to give such a gift. But after some time, I usually realize the significance of such a gift and how grateful and excited I am for the gift. It’s that type of excitement that I imagine Mary had as she carried Jesus in her womb. While she may have been unsure of the gift or the decision of the gift-giver to give such a gift, she eventually reaches a point where she responds with excitement and gratitude for the gift she has been given.
My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me — holy is his name. 
Luke 1:46-49
Christmas is about celebrating God with us! When we recognize the presence of God with us, our lives are forever changed and our souls can rejoice. For some, the wonder of this gift is yet to be realized; but for others our hearts rejoice because of what God has done and is doing among us. The Christmas miracle did not end in the manger — God shows up every day in our lives; and God works through us to advance the Kingdom here on earth.

May our hearts be filled with hope, peace, joy, and love this Christmas as we celebrate the presence of God with us! And may our church, our community, and our world be better places as we share the light of Christ every day of our lives!

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. If you are in town and everyone in your family is healthy, I hope you will make it a priority to be with us on Sunday and/or Monday for one of our Christmas Eve (or Christmas Eve Eve) worship gatherings. Each service will have a unique style, and I believe that all of the services will glorify God in a wonderful way! I would personally love to see you and I hope you will share the experience with others and invite your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and extended family to experience Christmas at Royston this year.

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