Skip to main content

Thoughts From Allison Stitzinger

Dear Friends,

I know most (at least emotionally) have moved beyond Christmas by now. Yet, I like to remind people we still have until Saturday (January 6th or “Three Kings Day”) before we arrive at the 12th Day of Christmas. On that day many in the world still celebrate the arrival of the Wise Men at the house where Jesus was living when they showed up with their gifts about 1.5 years after His birth (Mt. 2:1-12). So, yes, traditionally the Christmas season does not end until January 6th – the day on which many still give their gifts to one another, mimicking the actions of the Magi giving theirs to Jesus.

And since we are still in the Christmas season for two more days, I wanted to share a thought about Christmas written by a member of my church – Allison Stitzinger. It is a short yet insightful summary of why we so desperately need Christmas. It would be hard to summarize it better. Enjoy.

“Oh, how we need Christmas. How desperately we need it.
When everything is broken and we can’t get away from the chaos and death and grief, in this never-ending moment of aching, how we need Christmas.
Christmas comes as a pinpoint of light in the dark, a new hope where there was only despair, the acknowledgement that yes, things are bad, but they can be set right, and they will be.
Christmas comes with a whisper on the wind that rescue is coming.
Christmas comes with the sweeping relief that the solution for our brokenness doesn’t come from finding some inner strength or hidden human goodness, but from outside ourselves.

Christmas comes to turn everything we thought we knew upside-down; to show us that the things that truly change and restore come quietly and in the most unexpected places. It invites the poor and the ostracized, the foreigner and the outsider, the small and the unimportant, the unheard and the unseen into the story of humanity’s redemption.
Christmas comes with an open hand full of hope. In our hour of greatest need Christmas beckons, “Come and see!”
Come see the new thing that is being done. Come be transformed. Come let yourself be an agent of restoration. Come and be swept away by a God who submitted himself to the indignities of humanity in order to set right what we have broken. We so dearly need Christmas, and praise God, Christmas is only the beginning.”

May your last two days of Christmas (three if you count today!) continue to remind you that Christ has come! Emmanuel, God in the flesh, came, not just to save (in the sense of being brought by grace into His presence forever in heaven) but to spread light where there is darkness (Is. 9:1-6). To restore, change, and transform the hearts, minds, and lives of people who would otherwise be “without God and without hope in this world” (Eph. 2:13).

Living Throughout the Year in the Hope Christmas Gives Us, Pastor Jeff


Popular posts from this blog

Thoughts On the Holy Spirit

Dear Friends, A. W. Tozer once said, “I think you will agree with me when I say that many people are confused about the Spirit of God.” What Christian who has walked in church circles for any length of time could disagree? That’s why I want to offer some helpful thoughts regarding the Holy Spirit from well-known saints, past and present. I trust you might find them useful in helping you listen to His guidance, respond to His leading, walk in His power, exercise His gifts, and be transformed by His presence in your life. Enjoy. “The Holy Spirit is not enthusiasm. Some people get enthusiastic and imagine it is the Holy Spirit. Some who get all worked up over a song imagine that this is the Spirit, but this does not necessarily follow. Some of these same people go out and live just like the sinful world. But the Holy Spirit never enters a man and then lets him live just like the world that hates God. In fact, that is the reason most people do not want to be filled with the

Thoughts From Diana Gruver

Dear Friends, In recent years I have found more and more people of all ages wrestling with depression, despite their faith in Christ and assurance of God’s goodness and faithfulness. Part of that (for the older folk) seems to be their struggle with a world so different from the one they grew up in, that they no longer feel at home in this world, while with younger people it seems to have a lot to do with the social isolation caused by their phones and social media. I know it sounds odd to say that social connectivity can lead to loneliness and depression, yet it’s true. It’s one thing to be connected electronically to others and another altogether to enjoy face to face “in the flesh” presence, eye contact, conversation, affection, laughter, and physical touch – even if it’s a simple handshake, hug or pat on the back. Better to have one committed, caring, loyal, ‘there in the flesh friend,’ than 1000 followers on Instagram merely leave a comment in your thread on occasion. Yet please do

Thoughts In Memory of Tim Keller

Dear Friends, News broke last Friday (May 19) that pastor Tim Keller had gone home to be with Jesus. I must say that his commitment to a gospel-centered understanding and application of Scripture, his determination to reach this generation, his encouragement to live out the Gospel through our lives and words and actions, his keen insights into contemporary culture, and his gracious way of engaging even with those he disagreed with – have been an inspiration to me and multitudes of others. He was truly a gift of God to many pastors and parishioners in our day. Therefore, today, in honor of his life and ministry, I offer you a mere sampling of 20 Tim Keller quotes. But I warn you that although reading Keller can be insightful and refreshing, it can also be a bit convicting and unsettling. Through his insights you will learn to see old things in a new light (which stirs the spirit!), but you will also discover that you do some of what you do for reasons other than what you had th