Joy to the world, the Lord is come! We welcome the savior of the world whose birth changes everything on Christmas. The arrival of the messiah brings a new reality to our faith, our relationships with God and with each other. God’s immense love is given to us in Emmanuel, the sign that God is with us always in Jesus Christ.

 

One of the things I treasure about the Christmas story is how everyone is invited to stop and rejoice over what God has done. In our busy days and moments, what better response to God could there be than to simply stop to receive and reflect on what God is doing. Mary and Joseph stop to ponder what is happening in the birth of their son. The shepherds stop leave their work, leave the flocks for a bit, make the trip to Bethlehem and marvel at what God has told them and shown them. The wise men, after a lengthy journey, stop to worship and receive the gift God has brought and also offer their own gifts. Like Mary, all of us are invited to pause and ponder what the birth of Christ means for us.

 

Christmas can be so busy. Our lives overflow with work and responsibilities. My prayer for you is to find time to worship God with us on Christmas Eve (five worship services at 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11 pm) or Christmas Day (one service at 9:30 am in the sanctuary) and take time in your own heart to receive and ponder the gift of God’s arrival in human life. Let God reveal to you a message for your heart and for our world that reflects the meaning of God coming to us, loving us and sending us out to tell what God has done. May God’s joy also be your joy this Christmas.

 

Rev. Dr. Dave Summers, Senior Pastor
Paradise Valley United Methodist Church
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To read the inspiring, thoughtful Christmas stories shared by clergy, staff and members during this Christmas season, please visit the Advent Daily Devotional Blog; click here to visit the page.

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