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Slippery Slopes of Life

Hey my friends,
            Only a few more days till Christmas Eve.  I am so excited about worshiping Jesus together on that night. 
            I remember one Christmas Eve when I was growing up.   I must have been 15 or 16 years old.  My parents thought it would be a great idea to go Christmas caroling at our neighbours’ houses after the service at our church.  So, on the way home, we stopped at one of our neighbours’ places to give it a go.  My parents and my four siblings and I poured out of the van in front of their house.  They had a sloped, paved driveway that we had to walk up in order to reach the door.  It had been quite cold recently and the driveway was slick with packed snow and ice. 
            Well, like I said, we had just come from the Christmas Eve service at our church, and we were all wearing dress shoes (read: shoes with absolutely no grip).  Do you think we could make it up that driveway?  No way.  We’d get a few feet up and then slide back to the bottom.  I remember us laughing our guts out.  So much, in fact, that the neighbours came to the door to see what was going on.   They just stood there and laughed with us as we unsuccessfully tried to make our way to their door.  We never did carol that night, but man we had a great laugh.
            Maybe your life is feeling a little like that this Christmas (though you may not be laughing as hard).  You get a few steps forward in something that really matters to you and then you slip all the way back. 
            Maybe it has to do with an addiction or a sin that you just can’t seem to beat.
Maybe it has to do with a relationship that you are working hard to improve.
Maybe it has to do with a commitment that you made to God or to another person.
            Usually this leaves us feeling very discouraged, disappointed, and depressed.  We can feel like there is no point in going on, no reason to keep on fighting. 
            I wish we could smile a bit more at our frailty and failure.  I wonder if that would lighten our spirits so that we can go at the challenge with fresh energy and determination.
            I am so thankful that we are not in this alone.  Philippians 1 promises that…
He who began the good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ.
            Jesus is with us as we slide down those icy driveways of life.  He is there, helping us, encouraging us, and yes, maybe even smiling a bit. 
            Don’t give up.  Instead, lean harder into Jesus.  Be filled with the Spirit.  Seek God with all your heart.  Even when we don’t see it or feel it, He is always working.
            He is the forgiver of your sins.  He is the transformer of your life.  He is the Saviour of your soul.  He came not just to grace the cover of a Christmas card but to be intimately involved in your life.
            So, get up, make another attempt at that icy hill.  Don’t ever give up.
            This weekend will be the final in our series “When Heaven Speaks.”  I will be talking about when the angel Gabriel came and spoke to Mary. 
            Next week we will have three Christmas Eve services (2pm, 4pm and 6pm).  Make sure you sign up as they are filling up quickly.
            Then, on Sunday, December 26th, we will be having two services and the focus will be “Make Much of Jesus.”  This will be the third year now that we have done this.  We will have open mics set up for you to share how Jesus has made a difference in your life this last year.  We want to brag on all His goodness and kindness and power in our lives.  I love this service and I am excited to hear what Jesus has done in and through you in 2021.
            I hope you have a great weekend, and we will see you on Sunday.
I love being your pastor.
Pastor Tim