23 Dec Pastor’s Paragraph for December 27, 2020
Pastor's Paragraph for December 27, 2020
DECEMBER 27, 2020
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I hope and pray you had a blessed Christmas, albeit different from years past. We still celebrate the birth of Christ and the hope and promise that he brings to all. We still celebrate Christ being born anew in our hearts and lives.
Many of us created new traditions this year or modified old ones. My husband, grandson, and I still baked Christmas cookies, although not quite as many! Whenever I make raisin-filled cookies, I always think of my Mom and Dad with a smile. My Mom called them “back-breakers” because they were labor-intensive, especially when she doubled the recipe! My Dad loved to eat them so much that she would hide them so she had some to offer company! Many memories of Christmases past flooded back, especially because this year was so different.
2020 has been a hard year in many ways for all of us. But as we look to God in Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit, God strengthens us and gives us hope. We remember God’s love for us and presence with us, not just at Christmas but all year through. And we continue to seek to live out God’s sacrificial love and grace, caring for one another in any way we can, including new ways (think masks and social distancing!)
Our thoughts, prayers, and Christian sympathies to all who lost loved ones in 2020. May God’s comfort and peace surround you. Our prayers of healing and strength are raised for others in the throes of illness, as well as requests for God’s protection and help for those at risk and struggling. We offer our thanksgiving and praise for all who have recovered, for medical and essential workers, for researchers, deliverers, caregivers, and the list goes on and on for the many ways God continues to care for and provide for us.
2021 is upon us—the breaking of a new dawn and a new decade! For me, the New Year always symbolizes chances for fresh starts, new experiences, and new expressions of God’s love. Snowfalls this time of year remind me of how God washes us white as snow with his forgiveness and grace, allowing us to begin again: to turn away from sin, bad habits, faults, failures, and shortcomings, and intentionally turn toward God. There is a special quietness and peace in a new-fallen snow, a peace that passes all understanding.
With blessings and gratitude in (and for) the New Year, for “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam: 3:22-23)
Rev. Sharon Miller
Pastor of Homebound Ministry