Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Blessings

Christmas Blessings

Christmas is a time to count blessings.  Today, as your pastor, I count among my blessings the incredible trust given to me by God and realized in this congregation. 
I am trusted to proclaim the truth and that means good news.
I am trusted to balance truth and love as people struggle with life, an impossible task without the wisdom generously granted by God.
I am blessed to shepherd a body—a very willing body of believers—to take God’s love into the world.
I am blessed to serve among those called out of the world, set apart for God’s special purpose, and then sent back into the world as his commissioned.
We are not always on time as the world would define such things, but we are always timely responding to the Spirit’s leading.
This congregation is not large but its love is far reaching.
The church building is not ornate but what goes on here bears good fruit.
The sanctuary is no cathedral but it is the warmest of places to gather in worship.
The people may not be rich as the world defines such things, but they are generous with all that the have.
The worship service seldom appears to be a well-oiled machine often proceeding with multiple hiccups in the course of a Sunday morning, but what is offered to God is genuine.
Wednesday evenings may appear chaotic at times, but children have come to the place where they know they are loved.
People come all during the week wearing signs that read, “I need help but don’t want to change the way I live.”  Praise be to God for the work of his Spirit that does far more than I can do in these situations.
People come and call at hours when there should be nobody on the premises because they are hoping beyond hope that there is a way out of their situation.  The way is Jesus.   If they will only accept my invitation to come and talk and hear of God’s love.
Today, I count my blessings that God trusts me enough to minister to the lost and the disconnected and to continue to equip the saints for their most vital work in the days and weeks ahead.
Today, I count my blessings that God has called people to provision this body for its work in the world.
Today, I count among my blessings that I witness enough victories in ministry that the apathy and ambivalence of so many does not overwhelm me.
Today, I count as my blessings a denomination that sings Whosoever Will May Come, knowing that our loving Father continues to call the wanderers home.
Today, as in every day, I rejoice in the Lord and not in the circumstances of the world.  I pray for and reach out to those who only find a temporary happiness in the circumstances and things of the world that they too may know the joy of the Lord.
Today, I count among my blessings that the yoke of my Master is easy.  I can bear it and not strain under its weight.  I rejoice that he has given me purposeful tasks that require me to apply the gifts and talents with which he blessed me and these things are not burdensome.
Today, I count my many blessings with producing fruit for the body of Christ among the best of them, as it enables me to live fully by giving completely of myself to God by helping others.
Today, I count being a living sacrifice as a true Christmas present knowing that the more I give the more I live.  God is good and his will for me is perfect.
It is good to be God’s servant and to live trusting him as I live out my salvation in the special trust he has given me as pastor.
I am blessed and pray that I am a blessing to those that God has placed in my path.

Merry Christmas!


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