“God loved the world so much......”-John 3:16

posted Dec 1, 2018, 5:13 PM by Cameron Hubanks

From the Pastor

“God loved the world so much......”-John 3:16

Are you ever tempted to wonder, “Okay God, which is it?” Do you love the world, or are you exasperated withthe world? As we’ve been working our way through the “Big Stories of the Bible” we’ve gulped a little at thestory of Noah and the big boat and the rainbow. On that day, at least, it seems God was done with humankind and the evil people often inflict on others. On that day, God nearly started over.

Wouldn’t it nice if the story of humankind after Noah was one of peace and kindness and grace? We all know, of course, that humankind wasn’t much better after Noah than we (because it IS we, after all) were before.The powerful still use and abuse the vulnerable and sickness and disease still ravage, and poverty still haunts millions upon millions.

It is precisely in the face of so unrelenting a story of failure that Christmas ought to take our breath away. Unlike the story of the flood, at Christmas God tries something utterly new. Instead of destruction, God joins the vulnerable and becomes human. And not just any human. When God chose to become one of us, shedidn’t show up in a palace, but in a barn. God didn’t reveal Godself as a ruler, but as an infant – one who shortly became a refugee who needed to flee with his parents to a foreign country – where, like refugees almost always are – he was likely barely tolerated.

It’s nice at Christmas to revel in beautiful decorations and in cookies and in family and gifts – but if we fail to take note of the sacrifice God embraced to show humankind – you and me! – the path to life and meaning, then we miss the point.

May your celebrations of Advent and Christmas be filled with wonder and joy! Celebrate and give (andreceive!) with abandon and with gratefulness. And be mindful of the depths of God’s love for you – for trulythat is the “reason for the season.”

God bless you and Merry Christmas! Pastor Rich Pleva

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