It is so good to be back at Crosswalk and doing what God has called me to do. Thanks again for your patience and prayers for me during my medical leave.
Do you know that December can be a very dangerous month? An article in Great Britain summarized Christmas stress and Advent accidents:
- Almost 20 percent of people find the experience of hosting guests and preparing for Christmas meals and festivities “completely overwhelming.” A third of women feel more stressed throughout December than any other month across the year.
- Three percent of people suffer an electric shock due to badly wired Christmas lighting and one in 50 fall out of the loft (attic or upper storage place) trying to get the decorations down.
- Some 2.6 million people have even fallen off a stool or ladder while hanging up the decorations.
- A mammoth 700,000 people have been injured in a sale rush, while trying to snag a bargain.
Russell Atkinson, CEO of the National Accident Helpline said:
Unfortunately the festive and winter season can bring with it hazards for your health, from the cold weather and long, dark nights to unsafe electric decorations around the home. As such, we urge people to pause and take steps to keep themselves, their friends and family safe, in order to ensure they have a relaxed and cheerful holiday season
So apparently December can be dangerous and Christmas can cause calamities. Can I tell you something about this? Jesus was born into this dangerous, calamity stricken world. Within the first two years of his life, a megalomaniac politician heard about his birth and became insanely jealous that a newborn king had been born. The result was a horrible act of terrorism against baby boys and their families in Bethlehem. The Lord escaped that cruelty, but another would claim his life over thirty years later. This time, the twisted politician simply washed his hands in response to Jesus, and let the crowd have their way. Strangely, all the hurts of this world are a part of God’s greater plan to overcome evil with good, hatred with love, sadness with joy, condemnation with forgiveness, and death with eternal life.
At Crosswalk, we celebrate Christmas as a blessed event, and you are invited to leverage the spiritual openness of this season to invite your friends to worship with you. Even in Starbucks I heard “Silent Night” being played over the loudspeaker, and the lovely declaration that “Christ the Savior is born.”
Last year, our two afternoon Christmas Eve Candlelight services were full. This year, December 24 is on a Sunday, and so we will have no morning services, but two wonderful afternoon services that will be a blessing to your family and friends. Our first service will be at 3:30 p.m., which is designed for those who don’t like to drive at night. The next service will be at 5:30 p.m. Each service gives plenty of time for Christmas Eve dinners and family celebrations. We will feature great music, a Christmas devotional, and of course the lighting of the candles. Many have made these Candlelight services a central part of their Christmas family tradition, and I invite you to do the same. We are going all out to make this a delight!
Jesus chose to come into this troubled world. He face the hurt so you can be healed, to suffer so you might be saved, and to die so that you might forever live!
Love in the Lord,