Greetings to all of you as we are now past the Christmas season! Though Christmas has come and gone, may we not forget to celebrate that wonderful night when our Savior left His heavenly place, took on our sinfulness, and dwelt among us. We spent all of December celebrating the good news of Jesus at Family of God in a variety of different ways. From decorating the Christmas tree, to Advent by Candlelight, Boars Head, Christmas caroling, and our Children’s program, it was a very busy and exciting Christmas season!
We kicked December off by bringing some of our women to Christ Our Savior for Advent by Candlelight. On the ride home, so many of them were raving about how much fun they had! It is always a privilege when they have an opportunity to escape the crushing responsibilities at home, even for a night, and we with other women. Suddenly, a broken laundry dryer or battling cancer doesn’t seem as stressful. It is amazing what a little bit of love can do!
Later in that week, I was able to take 5 of our men, 2 of our women, and 2 of our kids to the Boars Head Festival at St. John Fraser. What an experience that was! Having seen this production before at Concordia University Ann Arbor, I was able to prep our people a little bit, before taking them. All of them said they were blown away by the production! Walter, a musician, was particularly impressed with the orchestra. Angie, loved the dramatics, acting and dancing of the characters. David was just sitting there enjoying it all, letting Christmas sink in. In tears, he said he had never experienced Christmas that way. Praise God for this opportunity.
The week before Christmas, as you all know, is very eventful with the hustle and bustle of last-minute preparations and get-togethers. Well, it is no different for us! The week leading up to Christmas contained an evening of trivia and caroling with Christ Our Savior and then our Kid’s Christmas program. Both drew large crowds to our new sanctuary and it was filled with the sounds of music and praising our great God. David Crittenden did a wonderful job playing piano for caroling and for the kids’ program and both nights, people left with the joy of the Christmas season that only Jesus can bring. I was very much impressed with our children. Rehearsals leading up to it were good and challenging, depending on the day, but in the end, God prevailed (shocking, eh?). Young men assumed leading roles, kids that normally wouldn’t sing, were singing loud and proud in the front row, and one kid in particular, little Junior, had not been to any rehearsals but stepped up and read his parts extraordinarily well, even if he was barely peaking over the lectern. Our congregation was so blessed by the life-giving message of Jesus. Thank you to Pam and Belinda for helping to make all of this happen! Our God is so great.
I pray that each one of you had a wonderful Christmas. It can be overwhelming at times, and maybe for you, Christmas is a struggle. But take heart in these words as we look towards 2019. God has come to be with you. That is why we celebrate Christmas! Because the God that created you, came to be with you, and died for you. Immanuel, God with us. Blessings to all of you in 2019.