Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Message 2008

Christmas Message 2008
A message from Pastor Clint Schnekloth

Listen to: In the Bleak Midwinter, by Christina Georgina Rossetti

This Advent, snow has been falling, snow on snow, and for many, this winter has indeed been cold and bleak. Some have lost jobs; others have lost loved ones; still others are experiencing economic insecurity. The Advent/Christmas season, which outwardly seems so bright and soft, may be for some of us like the hard iron and stone of frozen earth and water. Bleak.

And yet, we believe and trust that a new, “sunny” little body, the Son of God, came into the world just over 2000 years ago, and the good news of his birth makes all the difference in how we respond to bleak seasons in our lives. This baby, our Lord Jesus Christ, brought warmth and security and peace to Mary and Joseph, the animals and shepherds and wise men, and also to all of us. The birth of God incarnate which we celebrate this Christmas season is good news for the whole earth. As this year turns to the next, we celebrate that the life we live together as the church is only “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1). The good news is good and keeps being new.

So we do not lose hope. We trust that the God of heaven and earth, who was capable of bringing redemption to the whole world through the birth of this child, is capable now of caring for us in our need. Even in our bleakest hours we are warmed by the presence of the Son in our lives. And we are set free by this hope to warm the hearts of others, by sharing with them the good news that, as Luther wrote, "From eternity Christ is born, he is always being born."

Let us find ways together to experience the new birth in Christ in this new day. Let us comfort those who grieve, feed those who hunger, refresh those who thirst, join together in worship of the Savior, and in every way, let Christ be born in us today.

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