The other night Diane and I watched a Christmas movie on Netflix, entitled “The Christmas Candle.” It’s about a candle maker who is visited every 25 years by an angel who grants one person, in the small town, a miracle.  Of course every 25 years all the townspeople are hoping that they will receive the Christmas Candle.  A new pastor comes to the church and does not believe in miracles.  The rest of the movie is about God’s movement in the hearts of the pastor and his people and how love and goodness toward others are the real miracles of Christmas.  As I am about to enter into my ninth Advent Season at LHCC, I think of the miracle that brought Diane and me to this church and the continuing miracles of joy and community that we experience in this church.  Genuine joy and community are not easily manufactured in our world today.  The escalating use of drugs testifies to the hopelessness that many people experience, particularly at this time of year.  The Christmas carol, “Joy to the World,” expresses the fond wish all of us have at this season.  But do not forget what that line in the song goes on to say: “Joy to the World; Let earth receive her king.”  That is the key that opens the door of Christmas joy—receiving the King.  The Gospel of John expresses it this way: “To as many as received Him, gave He the privilege of becoming the children of God, that is to all who believe in His name” (John 1:12).  Joy at Christmas comes not from the light of a candle, wonderful as it may be, but from the true light of the World, Jesus Christ who brings warmth, acceptance, love, and belonging into our lives. 

This Christmas put your faith and your life into the  hands of the babe of Bethlehem.  For it is in His hands that we will never be lost or let go (John 10:28).  –  Pastor Mike