Bible Verse of the Day

Philippians 1:29
“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in him, but also to suffer for him,”

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AYP December 2015

Grace, mercy and peace, be with you all. Amen

It is finally here. THE season. We have been inundated with all the other preparations since August in some stores. But now at last it is here.

Usually I don't get too excited around this time of year because of all the work that it means for me, as well as the fact that so many have taken so much of the meaning out of the season and commercialized the holiday TOO much, in my opinion. However to me, this year feels much different. I am excited for the season, and not just mildly excited, but over the top, candy canes and eggnog excited.

We all have a variety of reasons to be excited, not the least of which is the gift of our Savior Christ the Lord. This is a gift that surpasses all other gifts. This is the gift that we all need and want, as well as is often the gift we don't realize we need.

This is the gift that I think we need the most right now as well, given the amount of sin impacting us in the world as of late. It is something how the sinful acts that a few perpetrate on others cause us to tremble in fear. These individuals thrive on our fear, on our dread to venture out. Causing us to be afraid of the bogey man, as if we were toddlers again.

I think that because of that fear, because of those bogey men that are lurking in the shadows that cause us to tremble, is the reason that I am so excited about this Christmas. I see the need all the more this year, right now for a savior.

I have to be honest. I am scared, especially because I know that I could be one of the ones sent away to fight this evil that resides in the world. But also because I feel that this evil resides not just in some foreign land but right here in our own country. But I also feel that this evil resides within ourselves.

I am scared because I think that we too are capable of extreme violence as well. The reports of individuals beating up, even murdering others that look similar to those that have committed these atrocities shows me that we too are capable of evil as well. This same evil is the root of bigotry, racism and prejudice. Evils that not just others possess but we do as well.

It is these evils that are most prevalent in the world today, and we are most in need of healing for.

It is these evils that we need to fight, not just in other lands, or even in our own, but first and foremost in our own hearts. Not until we can defeat the evil within can we defeat the evil without.

It is these evils that Christ is born into the world to defeat, and show us a way where we can live in peace and harmony with ourselves, our families, and our neighbor, no matter where they are.

So join with me, and light the candles, prepare the feast and welcome the Christ child as he comes to take away sins. Not just yours and mine, but the sins of the entire world.

The need is always great, it is just now that we are most scared, however, we have nothing to fear because of Immanuel, God is with us. Let us rejoice and be glad, and be worthy of the gift that is bestowed upon us.


Pastor Paul D. Hansen

Last Updated on Wednesday, 06 January 2016 16:31