Rustlings (December 7, 2015)

Christmas and children just go together. Your children. My children. Everyone’s children.

I’m hoping you and your children will attend our Christmas Eve service this year. Charles Tompkins will be sharing a holiday organ concert thirty minutes prior to the service. We will also receive the gift of dance from Tina Bailey and music from Kyle Matthews, Phil Snyder and others. But for your children, this is the night they will receive their gift from the pastor. As I did last year, each Christmas Eve I will give them a gift as they gather around me for the sermon of this holy evening. This year, they will receive one of my favorite toys from my childhood. This is a great night for your children. Please be here.

My children will be in morning worship on Sunday, December 27. Some of you have already met one or two of my daughters. And some have been fortunate enough to meet my granddaughter, Harper. On the Sunday after Christmas, all three daughters, my granddaughter, son-in-law and maybe even a boyfriend will be here. Our congregation will celebrate the joys of this past year as we dedicate Harper in the service that morning. And we will remember the sorrows of this past year as we light candles of prayer. I know you will have a hundred other things to do on this first Sunday after Christmas. I know you will be recovering from all things seasonal. But I hope you’ll be here.

Everyone’s children deserve a little Christmas cheer and a lot of hope for life. During the sermon on December 27, I’m going to suggest (not demand or force or make a motion) that our church in particular and other Christian churches nationally and worldwide, discuss adopting one refugee family. Regardless of what politicians, governments and other people may say, the church has a powerful and necessary role to play in this world. And while we may feel it impossible to change the world, we can make a world of difference in one family’s life. Think about it. Talk about it during this season of hope, peace, joy and love. And let’s make this a wonderful Christmas for all our children…all God’s children.

— Jim