“White Christmas,” “O Holy Night,” “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree,” “Winter Wonderland.” The music of the Christmas season is everywhere one turns. And personally,
I love it! And what’s cool is that it can present itself in different ways . . . serious, reverent, traditional . . . or playful, upbeat, and joyful. Seriously, I do believe that I could listen to such music throughout the entire year. Of course, I especially enjoy the annual Sunday when our generational choirs/ensembles lead us in worship through a Christmas presentation. As with many other programs/events in 2020, we will not be able to celebrate with our full choirs, but we will still have a blessed time of worship through special musical emphases over the next couple of Sundays. In addition, I plan to begin a new sermon series which highlights the “Sounds of Christmas” in Scripture. Did you know that there are at least four songs/anthems that you find in the biblical infancy narratives? This coming Sunday, we will focus on “Mary’s Christmas Carol” in Luke 1:46-55. What a response of praise and submission! And what a “carol” for us to sing to Him as well!
While I continue to look forward to Sunday mornings, I am also eagerly anticipating our Christmas Eve Candlelight services. We do plan on meeting during that special time to worship our Savior in a powerful way. As you may have already heard, we are offering two identical services—one at 4 p.m. and the other at 6 p.m. This will allow us to better plan for social distancing, capacity, etc. We certainly do not plan to turn anyone away from these services, but I would ask you to help us by letting know which service that you and your family will attend. You can register the number of those who will be attending at eve.temple.life. If for some reason you cannot make it to either service, we will be streaming the 6 p.m. service.
I can’t close this article without also thanking you for your faithfulness in giving. Because you remain committed to supporting the ministry and mission of God and His church, we remain in a strong financial position as we approach the end of the year. I have no doubt that you will help us finish strong as you always do so that we can fully resource His work. And more than that, you have been generous to our international missions’ effort. Already, we have collected over $94,000 toward our $160,000 goal for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Wow! What a start! Over the next few weeks, I’m sure that we will surpass that goal and undergird the work of our missionaries overseas—especially during these difficult days. If we have learned anything from this pandemic, it is that we are fragile, mortal creatures that need hope of something better. We need the love of Christ and the promise of eternity with Him! That is the only consolation for a world in darkness. And every penny of our Lottie Moon gifts goes to the international mission of promoting that hope in Jesus Christ. Again, thanks for what you have done already, and let’s continue to give generously.
How genuinely excited I am to study and worship with you through these days ahead! As we enjoy this Christmas season, we look forward to the fresh opportunities the new year will bring. Already, we have several kingdom-sized projects on the agenda for 2021, and I ask you to pray for the staff as we plan and prepare. But before we get to the new year (which can’t come too quickly for some of us), let’s rest in the Son of David as we celebrate the “Sounds of Christmas.” See you Sunday!