From the Pastor’s Study: January 2016

“For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son…”  John 3:16a

Singer song writer Amy Grant has written and performed many wonderful songs over the years. One of my favorites that she wrote along with Michael W. Smith called “Love Has Come” came out on her 1983 Amy Grant: A Christmas Album. It’s a song that reminds me of the wonder and joy I experienced growing up as a child around the Christmas time. A time when I felt that Christmas was a magical time of year. A time when I actually felt that Love could and did conquer all of the world’s problems, and it reminds me even today, about what being a Christian is all about.

Here are the words from the Chorus of that song:

Love has come for the world to know, As the wise men knew such a long time ago,

And I believe that angels sang that hope had begun, When the God of glory who is full of mercy sent His son.

As we begin a new year, having just celebrated Christmas, I am reminded why Christ came. To make all things new, to forgive us for the awful things that are happening in this world, to show what LOVE is really all about, and to give us hope for a different future. A future that began when Christ first came. It’s seems to me today that the world is deeply in need of hearing this message and maybe even more importantly seeing this message lived out. The world needs to hear and know what we Christians know as wonderful, beautiful and magical.

I have recently been reading a book entitled, “Pathway to Renewal” by Daniel Smith and Mary Sellon. It is a book about how congregations go through life cycles just like people do. It’s a wonderful book that asks deep questions about why we exist as congregations. Questions like:

– “What’s the fundamental purpose of church?

– What difference is a congregation supposed to make in the lives of its members and in its surrounding community?

– What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus Christ?

– What difference does it mean to be spiritual, and what difference do spiritual practices make?”

It is a book that talks about how “the church isn’t a building but a group of people who are committed to understanding and practicing the teachings of Christ.” And so I have been asking myself, how well have I been living out the practices and teachings of Christ? And what more can I do to show a world deeply in need what Christ’s love is all about. This year I challenge you to ask yourself these same questions and one more. What more can I do to embody the phrase, “Love Has Come”

Here are some more words from the song “Love Has Come”:

If I could have a special dream, Coming true on Christmas morn’

I would want the world to see, How His father smiled when Christ was born…The greatest gift the world has known.

Today, I simply want to wish you all a Happy New Year, and invite you all to find new ways to show the world why it is that we believe in and follow, the greatest gift the world has known, Jesus! – Have a great new year! – Pastor Dan.

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