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pastors note

Pastor's Note

Comments from Pastor, David Spaulding

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David Spaulding
Pastor David and Jeanne Spaulding
Greetings,
Advent begins December 3. We enter wonderful Holy-Days as we prepare for the coming celebration of Christmas. The scriptures tell us of the challenges of Mary and Joseph in preparation for and at the time when Jesus was born. We are told of the angelic choir and how the pronouncement was made along with who visited. Luke 2:19 says, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." Like Mary, we can ponder the wonders of God, the incarnation, and the salvation story in our hearts. It really makes one want to have a "Heart For Christmas!" By the way, that is our theme for this season: "Hearts for Christmas." We will be hearing and talking about Hopeful, Loving, Joyful, and Peaceful Hearts for Christmas as we worship each Sunday in Advent. On Christmas Eve we will celebrate having a "Heart for Christ" and all that means for each of us! Do plan to be in worship and invite others to join us. We are creating a very special reminder of the season and our theme that will grow each Sunday in a special way as create a "Hearts for Christmas" bookmark. The first Sunday we will greening the Church with a traditional Hanging of the Greens service. We light the Advent Candles every Sunday as a reminder of our focus for the day. Christmas Eve will again be a wonderful experience for the whole community. Special missions and outreach opportunities are available to get involved with. Check calendar and information in this newsletter. Be sure to attend the Advent Bible Study and Sunday School. Our Children and Youth will be involved in helping with a special Advent mission project and are preparing Christmas music to sing with the Choir Cantata.

I ask you as we start this season: "Where is your heart?" Are there struggles, stress, sicknesses, frustrations that are creating a distraction in your life? Has there been any kind of life event that may be causing you question God and God's love? Have you gotten depressed because of the world situation? Whatever it may be, I pray we can overcome any distractions from Emmanuel, God with us, and let our Lord touch our hearts. I pray that we will be renewed in the season so we all may have Hopeful Hearts, Loving Hearts, Joyful Hearts, and Peaceful Hearts.

This may sound silly, I know. Anyway, here it is. I was unpacking the Christmas decorations to decorate. I came across the Polar Express Santa. I squeezed his hand and heard these words.
"Remember, the magic of Christmas lies in your heart." How true. It gives me the Christmas tingles to be reminded of that. Think about how incredible Christmas really is. A humble birth, in a lowly manger that had a profound effect on all the world. From the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2: "In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register. 4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. 8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."

This season, let us ponder the wonders of God, the incarnation, and the salvation story in our hearts. May we all have "Hearts for Christmas! Let's have a wonderful experience together this season! To God be the glory!

Pastor Dave and Jeanne