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From the Pastor's Desk

Each year, people go in search of the real spirit of Christmas. True, some want to find it only so they can package it and sell it. But others gaze at the Christmas tree, the presents, and all the decorations and wonder, "What is all this really about?" We know the story of Christmas, but what is the spirit of Christmas we hear so much about it? Does it exist, and if so, how can we find it?

For many, our emotional attachment to the season may stem more from our Santa Claus days than from the news announced to the shepherds. Family gatherings, decorating trees, caroling, the smell of baking Christmas goodies, traditions, opening gifts, and fond memories of the past are powerfully pleasant and warm influences. To many, this is what passes for the Christmas spirit. But we wonder if there is more to it.

How often does the end of an exhausting Christmas season leave us with a sense of regret? We've done it again! We have come to our King's birthday party empty-handed one more time. And so it goes on and on each year as we struggle to know how to properly celebrate Christ's coming. We know what we did. Even those who don't believe it know the story of the first Christmas. But how deeply have we thought about its implications for our lives? Or might we have allowed it to become familiar to us? So we have trouble finding the true spirit of Christmas.

Christmas spirit does not have to be that elusive. May this season be different as we embrace a joy that stays with us. Take away the trees, lights, and the story is still there. It is still true, and our joy is still full!

-Pastors Mark and Jennifer

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