Posted by: Jim Black | December 19, 2012

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

2012-12-02 10.53.02What an incredibly busy time of year this is! In some ways this past year has just flown by and I cannot believe that it is time once again to sit down and write my annual “Christmas Note” for our bulletin. In other ways, it has been a long and difficult year for many. As I look back and reflect over this past year, I think of so many who have left us. This year we have seen the passing of many beloved church family members here at Washington Street. My heart goes out to each and every one of you who have lost a dear loved one this year. Their absence is felt especially at this time of year. Our hearts are also heavy this week with the news of the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Words cannot express the heartache that everyone feels over these events and especially parents.

Perhaps it is fitting that as we reflect, we are also turned to the wonder of the story in the Scriptures… the story of the Christ-child, born to humble parents in a small town called Bethlehem all those years ago… laid in an animal’s feeding trough and visited by curious shepherds. It seems like such a simple story. Children are born every day, many of them into circumstances even more difficult than that. Yet this wasn’t just any child. This was Jesus. This was Immanuel… “God with us.” This was God in the flesh, come to set things right. He was born at night, into the darkness. Max Lucado reminds us, “The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. [Jesus’] first cries were heard in the shadows. To see [his] face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod’s jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence. “

Yet it was into our dark world that Jesus came and brought light! The apostle John would write, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.” (John 1:9) Indeed, even amidst the darkness of recent days our world is brighter as we turn our eyes upon Jesus.

This December my family began our twelfth year as a part of this church family and we continue to be so blessed. This year, more than others, we have felt the love and the prayers of dear brothers and sisters and we are so thankful for you all! God has truly blessed us through you. There is no way that we could send every one of you, our friends and family members the traditional “Christmas Card” so let me take this opportunity to say to every one reading these words, “Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!” We sincerely pray that the holidays will be filled with joy and laughter… with good times and great memories! May God bless you.

-Jim, Celeste, Andy, David, Michael & Daniel

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