Christian greetings to all my colleagues in the ministry and members of our beloved church. The year 2017 has gone by so fast, and within the next two weeks we will be ushering in a new year with great new possibilities. Allow me to thank you again for the confidence that you had shown me during our elections in October of this year. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the church to which God has called me. To serve you to the best of my ability.
My wife and I look forward to getting to know you and the ministry in which you serve. We are so aware that the great work that you are doing is seldom heard of, but allow me to express my deepest gratitude for all that you do for The Kingdom of God. I pray that we will indeed have a “Renewed Passion for Souls”, as this is indeed the call of God for the Church.
May you, your family and congregation have a blessed Christmas. Allow me to share a few words about the celebration of this all important day.
There are so many details that surround the celebration of Christmas that it is easy to miss the meaning. Christmas is not about the parties or the presents. It’s not about the food, the festivities, or even about family. It’s not about the Christmas cards, credit cards, or carols; not about tinsel or traditions.
That fact is this: Christmas is solely about God. Christmas is about God fulfilling His promises, saving His people, coming to us — as one of us — in Jesus. The truth can be so easily missed: Christmas is nothing but Jesus. And if Jesus is not in Christmas, then Christmas is nothing at all.
The Christmas message is often lost in the secular world of consumerism, commercialism and materialism. The real meaning of Christmas is simple yet profound. The Gospel story in Luke tells us about the Christmas message.
First, the Christmas message is a message of ‘fear not.’ This message came to Mary when she was told, ‘Fear not, for you have found favour with God.’
It was the same message to Joseph in a dream in Matthew 1:20, ‘Fear not to take Mary as thy wife.’
“Secondly, the message of Christmas is a message of great joy to all people. That night in Bethlehem when Jesus was born, the angel announced good news of great joy to all people. It was a message of the Saviour’s birth — a Saviour available to all, one through whom all people, no matter who you are, can be saved.
This year we celebrate the Christ of Christmas with our hearts. It is my hope and prayer that we will focus upon Christ not only in this year’s celebration but also in the new year to come. I hope we will look back and reflect upon the prophecy of Christ.
May we, too, join in the work of proclamation just as the angels on that night of celebration.
My prayer is that we experience afresh and anew a celebration of Christ in our lives.”