The Fourth Sunday of Advent
Jesus Christ is the light of the world:
a never-to-fail shining light
that overcame the darkness of evil, fear, and death.
I thank God in all my remembrances of you (Philippians 1:3).
It would be easy to memorialize 2014 in light of its remarkable events, most obviously our settling into our beautiful new facility and expanding our ministries in exciting ways. Alternately, it would be just as easy to remember 2014 in terms of challenges like keeping pace with an ever-larger congregation, or responding to persecution in the Middle East, or absorbing the reality of racial strife closer to home. But I don’t want 2014 to be remembered simply for events; it’s the people of Stone Hill and God’s grace through them, that have made 2014 such a memorable year.
To each of you, Karen and I wish a most joyful Christmas. And for each of you we pray that the final weeks of 2014 would overflow with simple gifts, chief among them a love for Jesus. I close with a poem I like to share this time of year, written by friend and former Stone Hiller, Jenn Hunt.
Christmas, I hate you: the stress of you, the mess of you, the fit in small black dress of you. The fake of you, the ache of you, the up ’til midnight bake of you. The glitz of you, the blitz of you, the party can’t be missed of you. The bait of you, the weight of you, the dread of late mail fate of you. The rush of you, the slush of you, the crumpled wrapping mush of you. The whet of you, the get of you, the deeper into debt of you.
Jesus, I love you: the fuss of you, the muss of you, the come and walk our dust of you. The why of you, the lye of you, the love I could not buy of you. The serve of you, the nerve of you, the not what I deserve of you. The calm of you, the balm of you, the feel here in my palm of you. The catch of you, the patch of you, the death has met its match of you. The near of you, the far of you, the take me where you are of you.