“It’s been a hard year in our church,” said the preacher.
I was that preacher, and I have said it to no few people in the last few months. I say it because it is true. We should anticipate a tide of change with every year, but our church family experienced a pronounced spike of family catastrophes and deaths beginning a year ago. Judging by the concern and prayer we’ve carried to God in 2013, He certainly knows who we are.
We have prayed the breadth of Psalm 22 this year, from
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
“But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.”
“For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.”
The valley of the shadow of death was not too much for Him.
One of the more difficult trials is the _____less Christmas. You can fill in the blank as it fits. A person’s name will go there for some of you, a lost bit of optimism for others of you. There are people missing, pure and simple. We have lost a certain season in our families and church through these missing people, and we are still finding our legs. We need not tell one another to move on, because we have no choice. There is no going back.
What we have discovered, and what I have stated twenty times for every one time I mentioned our losses, is that Christ continues to indwell our lives and this church. In some form it is going to be a ____less Christmas, but it will not be a Christ-less Christmas.
Again, it will not be a Christ-less Christmas.
There is no such thing as a Christ-less Christmas if we are celebrating the Incarnation, the coming of God in Christ to the world. God in Christ never has been a message for commerce. Neither does worship require a full house. Christmas is a message to the world that God loves enough to come near and live with us. And through the death of Christ and our faith in him, He so moves in us and for us that we come near to live with Him.
Nothing changes that. Seek His peace, friends.
Floyd and Shirley Baker
918 6th Street Carrollton, KY
Floyd and Shirley grew up in the area, moved away for Floyd’s service in the Air Force, and now retire here from multiple decades of service in active pastoral ministry. Please introduce yourself the next time you see them.
First Monday Dec 2 6 PM
Corey Groseclose and other missions/service volunteers join together to make a calendar for service and missions for 2014. Our goal is to alternate months with local and distant mission points. Please join us with ideas for local giving and long drives. Any number of partnerships are available to us.
We again welcome students and staff from JCTC of Carrollton for lunch during their finals week. This is a welcome meal, so call Deb Lewellyn if you want to jump in for prep or socializing with our guests.
“What’s so amazing about grace?”
By Philip Yancey
A book study is a good way to address the gray skies of January. Care to host a study in your home? How about a favorite restaurant for a weekly group? We’ll give 4-6 weeks for the book. Please buy your book in advance. See Bro. Chris for details or suggestions. This is a book you will not soon forget.
8-Midnight: Cove Hill Baptist Church and others are organizing an evening’s music and activity at Welch’s auction house.