A Ray of Sunshine

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From the pastor's desk,

This past Monday the grass was covered with a heavy frost and it was cold.  When I went down the long driveway to the mail box to retrieve the newspaper I was stopped dead in my tracks.  Suddenly I heard the most beautiful song by a bird in our Holly bush.  I have never heard this song by a bird and was unable to see it, so I could not identify it. The temperature was 26 and felt even colder due to the wind, and I wondered what that bird had to sing about. There was no possibility to feed on worms, the ground was frozen.  No one in the neighborhood has a bird feeder.  There was no food anywhere, nor were there any other birds around.  Yet, he sure sounded happy.

Have you ever noticed how a cat will find contentment on a cold, partly cloudy day by something as simple as a ray of sunshine.  It settles himself in its small pleasure and basks in the joy of the moment.

Christmas is only 3 days away.  The weather has not always been pleasant.  It has been sometimes cold, mostly cloudy and sometimes rainy.  Also, we may be facing some difficulties in life such as health issues, financial problems, job unhappiness, personal conflicts with others etc. etc.  Yet, as difficult as time and weather may be, we need to have the attitude of the bird in my Holly bush and the cat who knew how to find warmth amidst a cold and cloudy day.  

Jesus, it is often said, is the "reason for the season".  As we turn our attention to the reason why we have a day like Christmas, we are reminded why He came to earth and was born in a manger. He literally came to bring us a joy that cannot be found anywhere else, no matter how hard we search.  We can find a reason to sing with joy like the bird.  We can find a place of warmth and happiness like a cat in Jesus. Why is this?  The answer is simple.  His purpose for leaving Heaven is because He loves all humans on earth.  He did not want anyone to die and end up in hell, so He paid the full penalty for our sins so we are pardoned of all our sins.  With His death and resurrection, if we truly believe in Him, we have a guaranteed future in Heaven.  This is the reason why we always have a great joy no matter what is going on around us.  This is why I can find solace (a ray of sunshine) to bask in during the gloomy and sad days.  Jesus is the Sonshine that brightens my day!!

See you Christmas Eve as we celebrate and give thanks for His birth.

Pastor John

PS - THIS Sunday Doug Goetz will be bringing a timely sermon entitled “Mary you DID know!” It will be a great message to prepare us for Christmas! Thanks to all who faithfully serve each week at St Mark’s Lutheran Church in Fairborn.

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John Place