Warm Wishes for the Christmas Season

It is amazing how something that is so needed can cause so much havoc.  In the past few weeks California has finally received much needed and anticipated rain in the midst of a crippling drought but with the life-giving, refreshing rains came destructive flooding, mudflows, power outages and even loss of life. In our own lives and circumstances we often pray for deliverance, but the salvation frequently comes in unexpected ways.

The Israelites prayed for countless generations to be delivered from the hands of occupation, they had been promised a Messiah and they hoped for salvation.  A baby in a manger born to a poor peasant girl who would grow up to take on the sins of the world was not what they had anticipated.  This Savior, Jesus Christ, was desperately needed and yet caused tremendous havoc in the religious and civil structures of the day.

Christ has come and is coming into the world and he is exactly the Savior that we need even though faithfully following Jesus Christ will undoubtedly cause havoc in our lives.  This Sunday in worship we will be reminded of the havoc that the mere announcement of Mary’s pregnancy brought as we explore Luke1:26-38 through inspiring music from all of our musicians and choirs and the word shared through scripture and reflection.

Isaiah declares that even those living in deep darkness will know the joy of salvation and that the Messiah will be called the Prince of Peace.  In an era defined by war and terror we long for peace.  This week a beautiful video about a moment of peace that broke out in the midst of the trenches of WWI has been spreading across the internet.  If you have not yet seen the video click on this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWF2JBb1bvM.  A poignant reminder of the power of Christmas.

As a staff we wish our congregation the joy and peace of this miraculous season.  We know many of our families will be traveling and we offer prayers for your safe journeys.  We very much look forward to worshipping with our family of faith not only this Sunday but also on Christmas Eve at 5:00 and 11:00 PM.

Attached you will find a sneak peek at what our Jesse Tree will look like when it is completed this Sunday with our children.  All are invited to get a close up view of the amazing artistry of each of the beautiful symbols following worship.


In His Service,

Rev. Lissa Smith

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