This is the final Pastor’s Corner before the end of the year! With each new year, Christmas takes on a more meaningful perspective. Unlike many things that change in life, I don’t feel a loss when Christmas changes. Instead, each year builds on the last, adding depth and meaning.
As a young child Christmas was all about family gatherings. We would frequently jump in the motor home and travel across the country to be with my cousins. I couldn’t tell you one present I got at any of those Christmas gatherings, but I could tell you about memories on the trips and with my cousins all day long.
As I got older, we didn’t travel to see my cousins, we travelled to see my sisters who had moved away (they are a LOT older than me!). We only did that a couple times, because pretty soon I had moved away and now would go “home” for Christmas. Mom and Dad would sometimes put up a tree and sometimes not. It didn’t really matter as long as we were together.
Soon, the nieces and nephews started showing up at Christmas. They were the youngest and got most of the attention I used to get. I didn’t mind too much since they were so cute. The next thing I know I’m married and now have children of my own and now family travels to us on occasion. Those children of mine aren’t as young as they used to be. I know it isn’t long before things change again. But, I’m sort of looking forward to it.
Life has a way of being both joyous and sad at the same time. It isn’t about avoiding change or holding onto the past, it is about embracing the journey that God leads you on. We still get together with family at the holidays, but now there is “framily” (friends that are essentially family) and church family to add. There are also MANY family members along the way who were once part of Christmas that are no longer walking this earth. Some older, some much too young, but one thing remains the same.
At baptism, I became part of a family that will never end. I am a descendent of the baby born in the manger and an heir to the family fortune. With each passing Christmas this reality grows in importance. Each memory and each relationship matters more than ever before because eternity is at stake.
I pray that for each of you who know the Lord, that you will have a blessed 2020. I pray you will have peace knowing you are the Lord’s forever and have the strength to overcome each challenge. With each change, I pray you will trust in the Lord that He is building on a firm foundation to prepare you for His work. Finally, love your family and all that you encounter. Truly Love them to the Lord because it matters and it is the only thing that does.
Pastor Erik Gauss
“By the grace God has given me I laid a foundation, as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it.” 1 Corinthians 3:10