Dear Siblings in Christ,
Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
As Christmas approaches, I am attentive of the wide range of emotions that adorn our hearts throughout this time. A season in which families unite to commemorate the gifts of love, peace and salvation, Christmas is a time of joy, warmth, and togetherness for many. Nevertheless, I am aware that some may experience a profound sense of grief, pain, or isolation from loved ones during this time of year.
The absence of loved ones, whether by death, geographic distance, or other circumstances, can overshadow our celebrations at the nativity of our Savior. Yet, as a faith community, united in Christ in our baptism, we can come together recognizing the diversity of emotions at this time and find consolation in the message of Christmas––a message of hope, comfort, and the boundless love of our God.
Scripture reminds us that God’s love transcends all boundaries and fills our hearts with a peace that surpasses all understanding. In the Gospel of Matthew, we are assured, “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28.20 NRSVue). Our Lord’s promise is a source of great strength and comfort for those who carry the weight of loss or separation during this season.
Those who have had to say good-bye to a loved one or who have become estranged from family members, I want you to know that God's love surrounds you. God's love embraces you in your moments of sorrow and assures you that, through Christ, we are never truly alone. And, because we have unity in Christ, this faith community and I love you and are here for you in any way.
As we finalize our plans and prepare to come together to celebrate the birth of our Lord, let us remember those whose hearts are heavy. May we reach out with open arms to one another, ready to listen, support, and share the love that God has so graciously poured into our lives.
Peace Lutheran's doors are always open, and the community's love is always available, whether you attend every Sunday, once in a while, or have been away for a while.
Join Peace Lutheran for Christmas Eve worship at 10:00 a.m. for Lessons and Carols or 7:00 p.m. for a traditional candlelight service with Holy Communion (each in-person and online). Invite your family and friends to join you as we gather around the nativity reminded that we are instruments of God’s grace, embodying the true spirit of Christmas.
In this season of joy and reflection, may the peace of Christ, which surpasses all understanding, guard your hearts and thoughts. Let us, as a faith community, shine the light of Christ's love into the shadowy corners of despair, offering hope to all who need it.
I wish you a Merry Christmas filled with the warmth of God's love and the comfort of the Lord's presence.
In Christ’s love,