For many people—including Merilyn and me—the greatest thing about the holiday season is the opportunity to share time with family, fellow Christians, and friends. It is good that we have time like this set aside in the year so we can take a break from the routines of our everyday lives and spend special times with our loved ones. If these special times were not set aside, many of us may not find the time to do it on our own.
For some people the holiday times are stressful and unpleasant for a variety of reasons. There is a certain amount of stress involved for almost all of us, but for some, it is extreme. If that is the case for you, then be comforted and encouraged by your faith in God. As God has told us in Hebrews 13:5-6, “…I will never fail you nor forsake you.” It is the case with all families that everything does not always go exactly the way each of us wants. Sometimes members of the family say and do things that rub the wrong way. Nevertheless, we love each other, care for each other, and want what is best for each other.
One great gift from God is the church. God’s plan for the church is for us to be a fellowship of faith with our primary focus on Him and the truth of His revealed Word. God also wants us to remember that when we obey His will, then we are part of His family in Christ. Jesus makes this clear when He responds to a request from Mary and His brothers in Mark 3:33-35, “And He replied, ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ And looking around on those who sat about Him, He said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.’” The apostle John wrote these words of Jesus for us in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” Just as in our earthly family, we love each other, care for each other, and want what is best for each other in our church family. We strive to do this because of our primary devotion to God.
It is a blessing and a gift to be part of the love and fellowship of the body of Christ here at White Rock. One thing to always keep in mind is that the time will come when God is going to give us a home in Heaven with Him so that we will enjoy a blissful, stress-free, and wonderful existence beyond all comparison! Stay focused on that above all else and be thankful for God’s gift so you can be a Christian!