• Pastor Mark Hisle

From the Pastor's Desk

We are seeking to evict the "Scrooge" spirit, not only at Christmas, but all year long. Did you know that Christmas Day only became an official holiday in Scotland in 1958? Until the 1960's, it was the norm for most people there to work as usual on Dec. 25. The reason was that the Scottish Reformation had so wrestled with the Catholic Church that it resisted any hint of what it considered superstitious celebrations. Singing a Christmas carol was a crime. A 1640 Act of Parliament made celebrating Christmas illegal. People could be fired from their jobs for displaying Christmas trees even in modern times. In 1583 you could have been excommunicated from Glasgow Cathedral for celebrating Christmas. This explains why in Disney's version of "A Christmas Carol," Scrooge is cast as a Scotsman.

In agreeing with the Scots in a measure, we want our observations to be more than superstitious traditions. Scripture says, "For unto you is born this day...a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord." It is "good news of great joy" (Lk. 2:10-11). In our culture we face a different kind of battle. The problem is not the Catholic Church, but the secular, commercial trappings that get us off track and steal the real "comfort and joy" of the season.

It's ok to love Christmas. In fact, it's ok to live with an exuberant, joyful attitude every day. God wants our joy to be full (Jn. 16:24). Don't let anyone or anything steal your joy. The world is full of Scrooges. Refuse to be one! "Rejoice always!" (1 Thess. 5:16).

-Pastors Mark and Jennifer

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