Dear Friends in Christ:
This morning, I was reading my article from last year in December…and I am asking myself: “Where in the world did this year go?” Now, here it is December again and the Advent season is upon us. The meaning of Advent is rich…God sending His Son into the world to be our Savior. Every Advent season, we are called to remember and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ into our world. Sometimes, I try to picture myself back in Biblical times when events were leading up to the birth of the Messiah. What would I have done if I had been at the inn that night Joseph and Mary came seeking shelter from the cold, winter night? What would I have seen? How would I have felt? This is a good way to experience the Christmas season…to spend time reading and meditating in the Gospels about the birth of Jesus. Ask God to make the events surrounding His birth come alive to you as you read and meditate on the true meaning of Christ’s birth. May this be a joyful, blessed Christmas season for you and your loved ones.
I also wanted to share with you in this column that I am a firm believer in fellowship.
Contact is a necessary precondition for fellowship. A church wishing to foster fellowship needs to begin its quest by promoting and encouraging opportunities where contact can take place. I also believe that the essence of genuine Christian fellowship is an intimate relationship between fellow believers. An intimate relationship does not develop automatically. It must be nourished. Nor does it develop quickly. It is predicated upon believers spending time together on a regular basis. So, as Pastor, I want to encourage you to seek the Lord in ways that will make fellowship with other Christians possible. Take advantage of the various things taking place in our parish…especially when we all get together to be with one another. Fellowship is more than just casual acquaintances. The Bible defines the relationship of believers as a system of “anothers.” Here is a partial list.
Christians engaged in a fellowship relationship should:
- Confess their sins to one another (James 5:16)
- Forgive one another (2 Cor. 2:6-8)
- Bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2)
- Love one another (I John 4:7)
- Encourage one another (I Thess. 5:11)
- Comfort one another (I Thess. 4:18)
- Pray for one another (James 5:16)
- Suffer with one another (I Cor. 12:26)
These are just a few. There are many more. Make it a point to enjoy fellowship with one another this Christmas season. God bless you richly!