Pastor Tom’s Christmas Prayer

racious God, this Christmas season we celebrate the birth of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  This year, as every year, we need you more than ever. When Jesus was born, you entered into the wilderness of our lives, offering us hope and the joy of knowing that where ever our journey leads, you are with us now, even to the end of the age.  Dear Lord, remind us of the gifts we have received throughout our years; the precious moments that you have given us and the love you have shared that has no bounds.  We do pray for those who struggle through difficult times of loss, and those caring for loved ones.  You are born to us in uncertain times; so many in our midst are struggling with loss, health issues, economic challenges, and emotional struggles. We pray for those who are lonely, mourning, and searching for meaning in their lives. We pray for those who are hungry and thirsty on a daily basis. May the miracle of the birth of Jesus Christ inspire each of us to witness your Good News to those around us. As we celebrate Christmas may we never forget the reality of the cross and your empty tomb. Empower us to fully live out the mission to which you have called us; “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” Keep us fervent in prayer, forgiving in heart and gracious in living. As we wrap and unwrap presents this year, remind us that our faithful presence with another is profoundly the most important gift we can offer. In the name of our precious Savior, born a child yet a king, we pray. Amen


Blessed Luke 1:39-45

“And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Luke 1:45

 

Sometimes we just need to be reminded we are loved by God, especially when life does not go as planned. The Bible says that faith is the “assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things unseen.” (Hebrews 11:1) When clouds hang dark and heavy in our lives it is hard to be assured, let alone convinced that God is around during challenging times. We need to be reminded that we are truly blessed, favored, by God no matter where our journey seems to be heading. There are people that come into our lives for that very purpose; they are called brothers and sisters in Christ. We live with the promise that God will neither leave us or forsake us and it is the faith of those God places in our path that offers us hope and assurance. Mary, the mother of Jesus, had Elizabeth to remind her of just how blessed she was even in the midst of a confusing time. Elizabeth reminded Mary of the great faith she witnessed with the words, “here I am, Lord.” Your witness of faith matters; you are a reminder to somebody that they are not alone in this life and that God loves them enough to send you. In a world of social networks, texts, emails, and drivers more interested in arriving to their destination on time than those they are driving around, a witness of faith that offers the assurance and conviction of God’s grace is needed more than ever before. As we wrap our presents this Christmas season, let us never forget that our presence is the most precious gift we can offer somebody else; with our presence we are a blessing and truly blessed. Thank you Jesus!
 

 Pastor Tom



Favor With God Luke 1:26-38

“And the angel said to her, do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.”

Luke 1:30

 

Do you know that you have found favor with God? Most would probably say no, “I have done too much or too little to find favor with God; I am not worthy to find favor with God.” Throughout salvation history, God used flawed, broken people to proclaim God’s favor to the world. God enters our human existence with all its bumps and bruises, trials and tribulations, and seemingly impossible circumstances to offer hope and assurance that God has not abandoned us. Christmas witnesses God’s true love for us in the birth of Jesus, an ordinary life event with extraordinary consequences. Life can be scary at times, just as it certainly must have been for Mary as she was visited by an angel proclaiming God’s gift to the world through her, lowly as she was. Mary rose to the calling God placed upon her through her willingness to be part of salvation history, her profession of faith, “Here I am, the servant of the Lord,” and giving birth to Jesus the Christ who transformed the world and continues to transform lives, giving comfort to those whose souls are troubled, legs are weak, and eyes weary with despair. You, even now, have found favor with God. You have been offered the precious gift of grace and certainty even in the midst of an uncertain world. Jesus’ plea is even clearer now than it was when he spoke these words, “come to me, you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest;” in other words, no matter who you are, you have found favor with God and you will find rest for your weary soul. Thank you Jesus, for the gift of new life.
 
Pastor Tom