God Bless you Pastor Rick Frederickson for your Christmas message! Merry Christmas to you and Sue and your entire family and congregation! We love you all!
I often take a trip back to childhood when I think of the Christmas story. I remember the pictures from storybooks that I looked at as my parents read the story from Luke to me. The angels singing with joy, and the shepherds and sheep, and oxen – all gathered around Mary and Joseph – peacefully adoring the baby Jesus.
Often, in our reminiscing, we forget that Christ came into a world that had problems and issues much like the ones that we have today – taxes, census, injustice, a troubled economy, political division, and yes, disease and plague.
We often imagine that the world to which Jesus came was simple and peaceful. Yet there was little peace in the world that night . . . and it seems the world hasn’t changed much since.
Enter the Christ child. Jesus came into the world to bring us hope, joy, love and peace.
To those living without joy, the angel proclaimed: “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.
To those living with the burden of the guilt of sin, Jesus said, “Be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven you.”
To the friendless, he said, “I have called you friends,”
Christmas means that Immanuel has come – that God is with us.
It means that our sin-filled and failed pasts can be defeated and changed by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and his victorious resurrection. I means that we can be members of God’s family . . . His heirs . . . and citizens of heaven.
Christmas means that God with us enters into the night of our suffering and sorrow, saying, “I am with you always”, and, “I will give you rest.”
Maybe you are asking, “God, have you forgotten me?”
Regardless of the intensity of the storms you face, you can be assured that Jesus is always with you, sustaining you, comforting you, giving you strength. God will never forget you. Jesus is right there beside you. Let his spirit live within you.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Rick Frederickson, Pastor
Springfield United Methodist Church
Sanborn United Methodist Church
Springfield and Sanborn, MN