Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What Do We With Christmas?

What do we do with Christmas? That is the question that seems to be at the foremost of everyone’s mind. With an unstable economy, uncertain security for the future, and the flu season in full bloom things just don’t seem “merry and bright.” Some people have taken great offence of organizations using the word Holidays instead of Christmas. While I am not to sure what Jesus would think of a conflict over the verbiage of the time of year we celebrate his birth, it does seem we have missed something somewhere. This time of year is a time of love. We remember the magnitude of God’s love for us as illustrated in the birth of our child. (Our child in the since Jesus was divine but born from Mary, a human) We allow that love to transcend into our hearts and into our families. The unconditional love Christ illustrates to us gives us an example of the love we should model in our own homes and interactions with others. This time of year is about hope. A time when we focus on the hope found in the bridge that was gaped between our creator and us. The freedom to live our lives not confined or affected by what is displayed on network news channels but on the promise given to us by our Savior. We can live with the hope that broken relationship can be mended, faith in each other can be restored, and through God’s power tomorrow will be brighter. This time of year is about peace. We recall that Christ brought to earth a divine sense of peace. The arrival of the divine in our broken world brings us the gift of comfort, reassurance, and tranquility in our lives. We find harmony within ourselves as we realize Christ died for us, so that we may be forgiven and free. This time of year is about joy. A time we realize the gift we have been offered in Jesus Christ. The joy of Christ presence in our lives and in our faith community overcomes the stress, anxiety, and unresolved feelings this time of year can bring.
So what do we do with Christmas? Maybe we should share. Share the love, hope, peace and joy we have in our relationship with God and one another. Share what Christ is doing in your life with a friend, family member, or stranger. Share how Christ is transforming our faith community into an environment that healing, grace, love, and care. Tell them of our church that is a place where Christ is present and active in our lives. Be a witness to the birth or new beginning for us all. Forgive, love, enjoy and share Jesus with others through your words and actions. Maybe that’s how Jesus would like for us to do with Christmas.
Take care of yourself and one another.
Wishing you the best as you celebrate Jesus and we are looking forward to what Christ has in store for us in 2009.
Tommy, Kellie, Abby & Will Henegar

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Impossible! No Way! Won't Happen!

Impossible! No Way! Won’t Happen!
Have you ever struggled with the impossible? Have you ever looked at situations in your life and said, “Impossible! No way! Won’t happen!” Luke 1:26-38 is a story about the impossible. It is a story about the “no way” and the “won’t happen.” It is the story of the angel’s announcement to Mary. Think about the impossible situation Mary was in. Mary, a pregnant virgin, was going to birth a child and while still remain a virgin. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen! Joseph following through on the marriage even when he discovers she is pregnant. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen! Elizabeth conceives and gives birth to a child in her old age. Why, it is so impossible the news left old Zechariah speechless. Impossible! No way! Won’t happen!
The entire advent story is full of biblical impossibilities. But, what are the impossibilities in our world? What would you label “impossible” in your life? Peace in our world. Christian values returning to our nation, morality becoming the norm? Impossible! Our church reaching our community and making a difference in people lives? Impossible! Restoring relationships, healing past hurts in our lives; a relative or friend entering a relationship with Christ; breaking an addiction and overcoming past hurts and disappointments? Impossible! We often say through Christ all things are possible but are our actions reflected in our own rhetoric. Debts, doubts, worries, criticisms and indecisions many times guide our actions not our faith. Fear also seems to be precedence before joy. We must move through the fear for us to receive a divine joy, one that the world can not rob us from, and the joy God offers through Christ. We must believe in the impossible. We must believe with conviction that the same God that blessed Mary with the impossible will also do the same to us. How? Mary too asks, “How?” and the angel says, “by God’s power.” Not by her power, not by Joseph’s power, nor by the power of friends/family. It is not the power of nature or the power of luck, but by God’s power!