December 2019 CLC Newsletter

FROM THE PASTOR . . .

  

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” (Luke 2:8–14)

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

 

December is the season of Advent and Christmas at CLC and throughout the world. Advent is a word that means “coming.” We prepare this season for the coming of Christ. We prepare for the way He comes to us individually through His Word and Sacraments, we prepare for Christmas when God became a human in order to be our Savior, and finally we prepare for His second coming when this world will end and we will be with Him in paradise.

 

Activity in the Church is increased during the month of December, to help focus our hearts and minds on the coming of Christ our Lord. In addition to our normal 9:30am Sunday services, we will have Wednesday evening Advent Services at 7pm on Dec. 4th, 11th & 18th. In these short devotional services we will contemplate the Advent themes, Come, Prepare, and Rejoice. The Children’s program will be Sunday, December 22,nd at 10:00am. Christmas Eve Services will be at 4pm & 7pm, and Christmas morning service with communion will be at 10am. This increased activity is meant to prepare for and commemorate an historical event which initially passed without much notice.

 

The night Jesus was born in Bethlehem, none of the world’s rulers took notice. God did not send angels to speak to kings or emperors or princes. He sent His angels to lowly shepherds. After spreading the news, those shepherds probably went back to their same jobs. By the time Jesus was grown up, most of the people had forgotten about the fact that His birth was announced by angels. None of the worldly kings cared a bit about the Son of God living in their land.

 

Unfortunately, we tend to live the same way. For too many people, the purpose of the season—God’s Son coming to us—gets lost in the business of the season. Ironically, sometimes people who are lonely or grieving or struggling to pay the bills will even blame God at Christmas. They think, “If Jesus was really a Savior He would have fixed my problems.”

 

What is forgotten is that the child born in Bethlehem did not come to fix the world, He came to save it. The salvation won for us by this child is what we celebrate. God’s plan of salvation was not to lay out a political or economic or even moral system that would fix the world. God sent His son into the world to save us and give us the hope of eternal life!

 

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:3–7)

 

Advent is a needful time in which we are directed to prepare for Christ’s coming. Prepare our hearts and minds through repentance. Prepare by contemplating things eternal (the Word of our Lord) that we might have a proper order and perspective on  things material. Prepare by looking forward to the real fix when Jesus comes again to put an end to sin and sorrow and to bring His people to their eternal home. O come, O come, Emmanuel!

 

In Christ,

Pastor Rasmussen

© 2019 Community Lutheran Church
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