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Christmas Expectations

Merry Christmas my friends,
            I am praying that you have a very special time this year thinking about the birth of our Lord Jesus and worshiping Him.  We can have lots of expectations about what we think Christmas should be like.  Often those expectations can lead to disappointments. 
Family isn’t behaving like we want them to. 
Money isn’t lasting as long as we need it to. 
Our perfect ideal season isn’t turning out like we hoped it would. 
            When that happens, we can get pretty down, pretty quick.  Where is the joy?  Where is the peace?  Where is the love?
The original Nativity story shows us that you can have most of your expectations unmet and still experience the most important aspects of the season: Christ’s presence, His love, His hope, His salvation. 
Jesus didn’t come to a perfectly manicured Christmas story.  His origin story was a bit of a mess: last minute travel, no accommodations, born in a barn, hunted, on the run.  Mary and Joseph had a lot of negative, less than desirable things happen to them, events they would have never imagined.  And yet, they made it through.  The had Jesus with them and that was all that mattered.
I don’t know what your Christmas will be like.  I’m quite sure ours won’t be perfect, there will be disappointments.  I do know though, that I can count on Christ being with me and my family this year.  You can count on Him being with you as well.  We can, as people of faith, be filled with joy and gratitude.  That’s what I am praying for you. 
May you experience everything God wants you to.  Trust in His love for you.  He will never leave you. 
            I am excited about our Christmas Eve services this year.  The theme is going to be “A Hide & Seek Christmas.”  There are three services (2pm, 4pm and 6pm) as well as the online service which will be available at 2pm and onwards.  If you can’t make to the live services, then I hope you will get a chance to sit with your loved ones and enjoy the online service.  Please pray that many will hear the good news of Jesus this year through our service as well as the many other churches that are hosting services on Christmas Eve. 
            This Sunday we will be having our annual MAKE MUCH OF JESUS service.  I love this service.  We put out a couple of mics and everyone is invited to boast on the kindness and love of Jesus.  So often, these days, I hear people complaining about 2021.  It seems like negativity can and should win the day because of how difficult things have been. 
But Covid did not slow Jesus down one bit. 
            I do not want to lean towards the complaining side, I want to lean on the thanksgiving side.  So, let’s gather together and encourage each other with all the good things that Jesus is doing.  It says in Ephesians 5, “Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
            Come prepared to share something that Jesus has done to bless your life this year.  Let’s lift Jesus high, hold Him in high esteem, MAKE MUCH OF HIM!!!
            I am super proud of you guys and love the journey we are on together.
            I love being your pastor.
Pastor Tim