The Eve of Christmas
Alfred, Lord Tennyson
The time draws near the birth of Christ:
The moon is hid; the night is still,
The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.
Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, on mead and moor,
Swell out and fail, as if a door
Were shut between me and the sound:
Each voice four changes on the wind,
That now dilate, and now decrease,
Peace and good will, good will and peace,
Peace and good will, to all mankind.
Just two days to go before we celebrate the birth of our Savior at this special holiday time. We so look forward to the Christmas Eve Service and Tea at the church on Thursday at 3 PM. We hope you can join us!
What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. - Ada Pharo
Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
Star and angels gave the sign.
- Christina Rossetti (1885)
This beautiful poem captures the Nativity in a sweet way, clearly pointing to the immense and everlasting love that God expressed through the birth of his blessed son, Jesus. As we celebrate this year, may all the symbols of Christmas speak of this holiness and wonder: the Crèche; the evergreen Christmas tree; freshly-scented pine bough wreaths and garlands; warm and glowing candles. They all can remind us of God's everlasting love. Star and angels gave the sign...
Many lovely thoughts and words of wisdom are spoken in relation to the Christmas season and its many gifts of grace. The following is no exception, and is worth a moment of contemplation. Be blessed by these words and by the glory of the Lord!
There is no better time than now, this very Christmas season, for all of us to rededicate ourselves to the principles taught by Jesus the Christ. It is the time to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart - and our neighbors as ourselves.
Thomas S. Monson
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)
It's officially holiday season, and as is so often the case, people are busy with plans for holiday visits, celebrations, and perhaps a little shopping. All of this activity is part of our American culture, and as long as we remember the real "reason for the season," it's all good! In fact, the merriment is quite appropriate, especially when held deep in the heart and genuinely shared with others. After all, the birth of the Christ Child is a momentous occasion - and one worth celebrating all year long.
I somehow started a QUOTE OF THE DAY email series today, and Harold thought it would be good to share via the Pastor's Blog - and I could not agree more! I will post every QUOTE OF THE DAY I send out and hope that you will find both encouragement and joy with every one. This might extend into the New Year, but that's another topic...so, here we go! Please enjoy and take a moment to contemplate these thoughts and say a little prayer...
QUOTE OF THE DAY
Very gay they were with snow and sleigh-bells, holly-boughs, and garlands, below, and Christmas sunshine in the winter sky above.
All faces shone, all voices had a cheery ring, and everybody stepped briskly on errands of good-will.
~Louisa May Alcott, "Seamstress," Work: A Story of Experience, 1873
Rev. Harold HICKS
I have served as pastor at First Christian Church of Yates Center for nine years, beginning at Christmas in 2008. The focus of the ministry of our a community of faith has always been worship, teaching, and service. I always place an emphasis on pastoral care and community engagement, and my wife Aeron, who served actively as co-pastor for five years, continues to serve the church with support of the fellowship. Aeron's Christian Life Seminars were enjoyable times of learning and sharing. She has written most of the blog posts and has provided bulletins, newsletters, and other publications to the fellowship including working with leaders to develop and file official church documents.