Pastor Harry Pretty
The Gathering Place, Slave Lake
As one looks around, we can see that people from all ages are afraid. They are afraid of getting COVID, of losing their homes, their livelihood or family members. One may wonder, how do you exchange fear for joy?
It’s Christmas time, which for many means time to prepare for the season and the joy this season brings. But we soon realize that this year may not be as busy as years past. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down. Many have gone from being carefree to stressed. From being happy to now unhappy and isolated. However, this Christmas doesn’t have to be disappointing, if we realize that Jesus is the reason for the season!
Now that we are upon the Christmas season, let’s take a minute out of the cares of life, to reflect upon the first Christmas so long ago.
The birth of Jesus set the tone for the Christmas season. Jesus came to the earth to bring glory to God and to show mankind the greatest example of love and joy that the world could, and still today, experience. Yes, we can even in the midst of COVID-19.
Christmas can be a time when we get so wrapped up in the commercial aspects of the season that it is easy to lose sight of the true meaning.
Regardless of how you feel and how distressed you may be, remember God, Emmanuel (which means God with us) is with you every step of the way. This is why he sent his son to be born in the manger, so many years ago, and is still with you today. You can have the strength and confidence to keep going because of what happened at the manger.
I encourage you this Christmas season to be bold enough to believe that God let Jesus come to earth and go through everything, because you are precious and valuable to him. Let this Christmas be one where you allow the Counselor, Prince of Peace, and the Mighty God to guide your steps and experience the love he had for humanity.
May we never get too busy celebrating the holidays that we forget to spend time celebrating the greatest gift of all, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ! Let us give cheerfully, so that those around us can experience the love, joy, peace, and happiness that his birth truly represents.
I encourage you in the midst of everything, take hold of the Christmas message and focus on Jesus with a renewed sense of wonder and thankfulness.
Slow down this season to enjoy the miracle that happened in Bethlehem many years ago.