Sitting in the kitchen, watching the birds feed outside the window on this frigid day, I’m reminded of the visit a pastor made on one of his parishioners.
The church he served was out in farm country. Now and again he would visit the old farmer in an attempt to share the gospel with him. Each time the farmer would tell the pastor, “I believe in God. It is impossible not to when you look around at the beauty of this earth and the way in which life is created. It’s just Jesus I don’t understand. Why would a perfect and all powerful God have to come down as a man, and then die, just to make things right?” The pastor was never able to come up with an answer that the farmer found satisfactory.
Then one night, as the farmer was sitting in his living room, he heard a thump on his window. He went to see what it was and outside he saw a group of birds floundering in the snow. They were trying to get into the warmth but they couldn’t figure out how, and so they were dying in the snow. So the farmer went outside and opened his barn doors, and turned on the lights, and tried to herd the birds into the warmth of the barn, because he realized it was their only hope for salvation. But the more he tried to direct them the more they scattered. At that point the farmer thought, if only I could become one of them then I could lead them into the warmth. At that moment, he had an epiphany, and he fell to his knees and received, through faith, Christ as his Savior.
During this time of epiphany, may Jesus open the eyes of our faith to what He has done in His incarnation. He is our Savior, with us through every joy and challenge! But may we also have an epiphany regarding what He has made us. We are His disciples, called not only to follow Him into the warmth of salvation but to reach out and share Him.
As Epiphany gives way to Lent with Ash Wednesday on February 26, when we will see in greater clarity what our Savior was born to fulfill for us, may we offer the sacrifice of our lives serving Him!
Keep Sharing God’s Love through Your Holy Faith!
When you hear the words “Bella Notte”, do you instantly think of love and romance? Does it make you think of a long starlit stroll in the hills of Italy with the person you love? Perhaps it reminds you of an animated movie involving two dogs and a spaghetti drawn kiss? While we are not located in Italy and are not licensed to show a certain animated feature, we hope that you will join us for “Bella Notte”, a relaxing evening featuring complimentary Italian dinner, music and the sharing of Christ’s peace and love.
Saturday, February 22nd
Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m.
“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