Now that Thanksgiving is behind us, everywhere you look it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If you drive through neighborhoods you see lights and decorations on more and more homes and lawns. The television commercials and other advertisments are reminding you of all the gifts you need to buy from websites like Flyp. There are radio stations playing nothing but Christmas music. I am cutrently sitting in Dunn Bros. sipping my Earl Grey tea from a cup that reminds me to “share the joy.” You can venture to downtown Minneapolis and enjoy the Holidazzle Christmas parade or the animated holiday display at Macy’s. And don’t even get me started on the Mall of America.
So along those lines, this weekend I will begin a Christmas sermon series at The River Church. I will be preaching on the Christmas story from Luke 2. But during this series we will not be focusing on Santa Claus, or snowflakes, wrapping paper or wreaths. We will be focusing on the real meaning behind this season.
I want to invite you to come and check us out during this holiday season. Or if you have visited us in the past, but it has been awhile, you might want to come back and check us out again. There are some changes going on and we would love to see you again.
Enjoy this Christmas season. Go out and check out the lights. Go downtown and see the parade and the display. Enjoy your time shopping at the Mall, but also make sure to get to church and spend some time focusing on what this holiday is really all about.
So the holidays are here. What are you looking forward to? The turkey? The shopping? The family time? The parties? The holidays are full of all kinds of things and mean different things to each of us. One of the greetings that we use with one another during this time of year is “happy holidays.” That’s great. I hope you are happy, but even more so, my hope for all of us is that this holiday time would be a time to remember, rejoice and reflect. What a wonderful way to wrap up one year and begin the next one.
We start with Thanksgiving which is a time to remember. It is a time to look back and consider all the ways that God has blessed us and provided for us. It is a time to consider all of those things that we take for granted everyday. It is a time to pause in the midst of our busy lives and give thanks.
Then we move on to Christmas. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a time to rejoice. It is a time that can easily be consumed by all the hustle and bustle of buying presents, going to parties, and everything else that comes during the commercialized portion of the holidays. But instead of focusing on all of that, it is a time for us to rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas. It is a time for us to rejoice over the baby who was born as the perfect gift to a lost and dying world, so that our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much, could bring us back to a right relationship with Him. Christmas is a time to rejoice over what has been done for us and the hope that we have in Christ.
Then we move on to New Years. The time between Christmas and New Years is a time to reflect. A time to look back over the year that was and look forward to the year to come. It is a time to reflect over God’s faithfulness to us and to renew our hope in Him for the new year. God is good and He knows the plans that He has for us. Entering into the turn over from one year to the next is a perfect time to reflect.
Remember, rejoice, and reflect. What a great way to celebrate the holiday season. Instead of wishing you a happy holidays, I wish for you a time to remember, rejoice and reflect!
Hi, my name is Rob Mapstone. I am the new pastor at The River Church. My wife Julie and our 4 children (Jacob, Ansley, Kalyn, and Makenna) just moved to Chaska from Columbus, Indiana. We are very happy to be here and are looking forward to all that God has in store for us in our new hometown.
I want to invite you to come out and meet us sometime. You can join us on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. at 2510 Chaska, Blvd. (right next to O’Reilly Auto Parts). We believe God is at work at The River Church and we invite you to join us as we seek to follow Him!