A Blessed New Year!!

“How was your Christmas?”  That’s the conversation-starter I find myself using in these post-Christmas days.  So, “How was your Christmas?

                One way of measuring the impact of Christmas on our lives is to look at what we carry forward of it into a New Year.  When Christmas is finished, what’s left?  Most of us probably think of the straightening up that our houses now need, the fact that our lack of sufficient sleep is now catching up with us, maybe a little disappointment that someone wasn’t excited to receive the gift we gave them, or the credit card balances we now have to pay off.

                But what’s most important is what we carry forward of the real Christmas.  We have celebrated once more the gift of God which Paul calls “God’s inexpressible gift.”  It is beyond amazing that our Creator God would make a present to us of His own Son, especially in view of what we human beings, His creation, have done with so many of His other gifts.  Christmas celebrates a God who not only loves us, but believes in us and has an eternal place for us.  It all begins with the infant born in Bethlehem.

                So what do we carry forward of that Christmas?  Do the beautiful carols of Christmas yet echo in our hearts?  I love the candlelighting, the singing of “Silent Night” and “O Little Time of Bethlehem” on Christmas Eve, that time of being close and still and knowing God and His love for us in Jesus.  How is slowing down and taking time to be close to your God going in this time after Christmas?  How about the joy of the kids sharing the Story Above all Stories using the characters of the Wizard of Oz?  How will we continue to bring joy to the kids around us and help them to prioritize time with Jesus in the mad pace of life in our culture?  How about the closeness, the fellowship of being with each other through this sacred time?  How are we treating each other in life at home and church?  Is it with the same peace and joy and forgiveness of the Christ?

                As we move into this New Year, may we carry with us the most important gift of all:  Jesus.  And with Him, may we carry forward all the gifts He brings, the very gifts we have shared and enjoyed in this Christmas time.  Together we are Disciples of Christ, walking with our Savior as we carry forward and share His gifts:  Building Faith, Family and Friends!   I’m not sure what this New Year will bring.  But I do now that it will be Blessed, that is “set apart”, for us to live as Jesus’ disciples.  May we greet those around us not so much with the words “Happy New Year” but with the words “Blessed New Year.”  In Jesus we know that it is!  A Blessed New Year to everyone!  Pastor Craig