Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Perhaps more than any other in recent history, 2020 has been a year of suffering. The COVID pandemic (and everything that came with it), racial tensions, political tensions, natural disasters, and who knows what else will be recapped as people reflect on the year that failed to live up to expectations. As Christmas came along, no doubt most of us were sick and tired of hearing about such things, but they were still on our minds and we talked about them with friends and family. Likely, people expressed disappointment; not just disappointment with life situations, but maybe even disappointment with God. "Where have you been this year, God?"
But this Christmas season, as we open God's gift to us, we won't be disappointed. As we peek at God's gift in the manger, we see Christmas not just as a temporary escape from suffering and disappointment, but as the solution for how to face suffering. For the gift of Jesus our Savior from sin and death is the testimony that God loves us and the assurance that He will keep all of His promises to us.
A Merry Twelve Days of Christmas and a Blessed New Year in Christ our Savior! Hold on, for He who came the first time to save us will come again, just as He promised to deliver us from this world of sorrows to a new heaven and earth. Watch and pray and wait patiently for the Lord.
Pastor Mark Rohrback