November/December 2021

Greetings brothers and sisters in Christ,

We have been through a lot in the past several months and yet I find comfort in these words from Paul, “18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18

As Thanksgiving is approaching, I am reminded that we are called to be thankful in everything. We have, for the most part, survived the coronavirus. We have made through some tough economic times. We have lost friends and loved ones. But we still have Christ. We still have hope. We still have faith that everything will work out for good. Let’s remember the words of Psalm 107:1, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.”

Soon Thanksgiving will be but a memory and we will be thrust headlong into the hustle and bustle of the world’s version of Christmas. There are gifts to buy, meals and parties to plan or attend. All, usually without much thought as to the real purpose of this great celebration. Please take a moment and carefully consider how the world, even you have been affected by the birth of Jesus.

God came down to Earth in the form of a tiny, helpless baby. He gave up all his power and majesty to live as one of us, to know our pains and disappointments. He also came into this world so that you and I might receive the greatest gift of all, eternal life. Nobody ever said that life as a Christian was easy, but neither was the life of the Christ. Jesus came to us with nothing of earthly value, lived a life of hardship and suffered a gruesome death on a cross to free us from slavery to sin. Love came down on that first Christmas. For God so loved the world. For God so loved you and me, that he gave His only son that we might live.

That’s the gift of Christmas. That’s the miracle of Christmas. The gift of God’s love. The miracle of Emmanuel, God with us. It was the birth of Jesus that made it possible for our salvation. Through His birth, death and resurrection, Jesus guarantees each of us a place in the Father’s house. As believers, we not only celebrate His birth during Advent, but also, we look forward with anticipation to His return in glory.

As we celebrate this Advent and Christmastide, I want to take a moment to thank each of you for opening your hearts to Carole, Jeff and myself. It is a great joy to serve you and our Lord. Together we can make great strides in making Disciples for Jesus Christ. As you prepare your gift lists, please remember the church and help us to proclaim the Good News, “For unto us a son is given…He is the Lord of lords and King of kings.”

I want to take this opportunity to personally invite you to celebrate the birth of Jesus by attending the Candlelight Service at 7:00 PM on Christmas Eve at the Charleston United Methodist Church.

May God richly bless you and your families as we remember the real reason for the season.

Pastor Bill