The Gift of Church at Christmas

Christmas always seems to be a time of conflicting emotions. Dreams of peace contrast with days of frenetic activity, the birth of a child happens in spite of very adult conflicts and each year we seek to simplify in the face of ever-expanding marketing of the holiday.

This year my feelings are particularly complex, but not because of my personal to-do list, but because of the national and international list of doings. The growing financial problems bring fear into our lives—not just for Christmas shopping, but future financial health. It is a scary time.

As Christians we know that there will be ups and downs in life—a fact forgotten by some financial leaders. Our faith affirms the power of God’s spirit to bring us through the painful times. I know that when I have had troubles in my life I have depended on my brothers and sisters in church and on my faith in God to see me through—not just to survive, but to grow through the adversity. I am confident we can do this as well today.

It is when there are problems that we become aware of the blessings we often take for granted. The church is at the top of this list for me. Being part of a community of faith is a nice addition to my life when I am doing well, but becomes essential when I am hurting.

If you have friends who are hurting I encourage you to invite them to church. They may find their spirits lifted and their outlook on life brightened. We don’t guarantee that troubles will leave, but I am confident that it will be easier to weather whatever storm is coming.

This next week is a great time to experience the joy of the Christian faith and the quality of worship at CCH. This Sunday is our annual “Twelve Gifts of Christmas” service. Our choir director David Broome and bell choir director Pat Frankemolle have prepared some wonderful music to put us in the Christmas spirit.

On Christmas Eve we will have two services. The children’s pageant service will be at 5:30 PM and the Candlelight Communion is at 10:00 PM. We hope the earlier time for the Communion service will make it accessible to more people.

Best wishes for the conclusion of our Advent season and our preparations to receive the Christ-child.

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