Pastor’s Letter – December 2023

Dear Family:

One of my favorite authors is Max Lucado. He seems to have a special capability to express complexity in simple yet profound terms. In his book, God Came Near, there’s a chapter titled “Just A Moment”. Let me share some of his thoughts with you as we enter into this majestic month awaiting Christmas.

“It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment. As moments go, that one appeared no different than any other. But in reality, that particular moment was like none other. For through that segment of time a spectacular thing occurred. God became a man. While the creatures of earth walked unaware, Divinity arrived. Heaven opened herself and placed her most precious one in a human womb.

The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.

God had come near.

He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conqueror, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured and calloused.

No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla.

Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would have been no gifts. Angels watched as Mary changed God’s diaper. To think of Jesus in such a light is – well, it seems almost irreverent, doesn’t it? It’s not something we like to do; it’s uncomfortable. It is much easier to keep the humanity out of the incarnation.

It all happened in a moment. In one moment. . . a most remarkable moment. The Word became flesh.

During his ministry years, those who encountered Jesus would never be the same.

“My Lord and my God!” cried Thomas.

“I have seen the Lord,” exclaimed Mary Magdalene.

“We have seen his glory,” declared John.

But Peter said it best: “We were eyewitnesses of his majesty.”

For a period ever so brief, the doors to the throne room were open and God came near. Heaven touched the earth and, as a result, earth can know heaven. In astounding tandem a human body housed divinity. Holiness and earthliness intertwined.”

My prayer for us all this Advent-Christmas season is that we experience afresh the what lay behind God’s transcendent motivation that was so supremely expressed and realized in both Jesus’ arrival and his ultimate earthly destination –

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Pastor Rob