Dear SUMC members and friends,
Greetings in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” we sing. The spirit of festivity and good will is in the air. Without Christmas, December would be cold and dreary. Jesus came as the light when the world was dark. Jesus declared the kingdom of God when the world was ruled by political, military, economic, and religious elites. Jesus preached the Good News of God’s love and mercy for all humanity when there was inequality, injustice and oppression.
Jesus was not interested in self-glorification. He was more interested in surrendering himself to the divine will, even to the point of sacrificing his life for God and for humanity. When Jesus gave his life to the divine will, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.” (Philippians 2:9) Historian H.G. Wells attests, “I am a historian, I am not a believer, but I must confess as a historian that this penniless preacher from Nazareth is irrevocably the very center of history. Jesus Christ is easily the most dominant figure in all history.”
The whole world celebrates the coming of Jesus. We decorate Christmas trees, bake Christmas cookies, send Christmas cards, sing Christmas carols, and give and receive Christmas presents. But let us not forget that Jesus is the reason for the season. The birth of Jesus in Bethlehem means nothing unless Christ is born in our hearts.
Other people may worship money, power, and their ego as their God. But we, Christians, worship God who visited humanity in the form of Jesus who gave his life, loving God and loving people. Saint Paul said “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
“Glory to God in the highest heaven; Peace on Earth” – Luke 2:14
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Pastor Jerry