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Christmas: The season of joy, peace and goodwill | Pastor Chuck
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” or so goes the popular Christmas song heard in so many of the local retail stores and radio stations.
But what would make so many people even begin to think this way? Perhaps it’s remembering the childhood joy and excitement of waking up on Christmas morning to brightly shining presents under the tree, or the wonderful memories of eating a great meal with family and friends.
Maybe it’s watching “A Christmas Carol” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “A Christmas Story” for the umpteenth time, but still enjoying the message and humor (You’ll shoot your eye out kid) with growing children or new friends. Perhaps it’s hearing the great Christmas Carols, like “Come All Ye Faithful “or “Joy to the World” or “Silent Night, Holy Night," sung by so many church choirs and carolers during this time of the year.
As a local pastor and disciple of Jesus Christ, it’s all of these things, but a little bit more. It’s truly believing the message of historic Christianity… that in the middle of a world too often full of darkness, pain and despair, a light and a hope has come to us all.
Nearly 2,000 years ago, the ancient physician Luke investigated what was said about Jesus Christ so that we may know what had occurred:
“In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world…during that time there where shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord… Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared, praising God and saying Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will to all.”
This good news of joy was that Immanuel (God with us) had come into this world to help, forgive and show us the incredible love of God for all humankind… and how to live life in all of its fullness. A life full of love, joy, peace and purpose… even in the storms and darkness we all face. This is the joy of the season.
May we continue to carry that love and goodwill we often feel during this season… throughout the New Year! Merry Christmas Federal Way, and I leave you with this prayer from Robert Louis Stevenson.
A Christmas Prayer
Loving Father, help us to remember the birth of Jesus, that we may share in the song of the angels, the gladness of the shepherds and the worship of the wise men. Close the door of hate and open the door of love all over the world. Let kindness come with every gift and good desires with every greeting. Deliver us from evil by the blessings which Christ brings and teach us to be merry with clear hearts. May the Christmas morning make us happy to be your children and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with grateful thoughts, forgiving and forgiven, for Jesus sake. Amen.
Dr. Charles W. Judd (Pastor Chuck) is the senior pastor at Church of the Nazarene in Federal Way. Visit www.federalwaynazarene.org.