One pastor’s prayer for the true story of Christmas: Come in from the cold
One thing that is undeniable, especially this year, is the early arrival of Christmas. With all that we have experienced in 2020, the sight of Christmas decorations, holiday lights and the playing of Christmas music in stores is a welcome distraction from the events of the last 10 months.
Unfortunately, even with all the excitement surrounding the Christmas season, there are still many whose lives have been impacted by heartbreak, disappointment and loneliness. Single parents, senior adults, the hospitalized, military families. Widows and widowers. Students who can’t go home for Christmas. For them, one blustery, cold day is followed by another and another and another and the only relief seems to be the company of others who they consider fellow-strugglers. As much as stores, advertisers, radio stations and even churches try to entice them into the warmth of the Christmas season, nothing seems to bring warmth to those who feel stuck in the cold reality of their current circumstances.
Thankfully, no matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter what your past or present circumstances may be, the true story of Christmas offers a wonderful message. Immanuel. God with us. God, in the person of Jesus, chose to leave Heaven and willingly descend into our world. He walked our streets, felt our pain, listened to our hurts and died for our sins. He didn’t come to condemn or judge, but to show us the path to hope, warmth and safety.
This year, more than any other year, my prayer is that the story of Christmas, the story of Jesus, will be more than just a cute tale about a young couple, a barn, some sheep and a baby lying in a manger. My hope is that for the first time, this familiar story will introduce you to the warmth of Jesus, who 2000 years ago, entered our world with the intentional purpose of providing hope and salvation to a confused, lost and hurting world.
This Christmas, I want to invite you to allow the warmth of Jesus’ love to spread itself over you as never before. Those who missed the arrival of Jesus on that first Christmas night missed it not because of ignorance or apathy; no, they missed it because they simply weren’t looking. In the midst of the chaos of Christmas, don’t miss Jesus!
Doug Boyd is senior pastor for Parkside Fellowship located at 5755 SW Erickson Ave in Beaverton. Call (503) 646-4455 or find out more by visiting parksidefellowship.org