Dear Family,

This morning, I was pondering Christmas memories. Songs my dad would play on the stereo and John Denver’s Christmas album came flooding back. Warm fires in the fireplace, and suddenly, the smell of the fire was in my mind. Cranberry Ice was a family recipe that took hours, but I could taste it this morning.

The final memory that came back was this decoration. It was made of cheap metal that was brass in color, and a candle sat under it, and the flame’s heat caused the angels to spin. This image was not the memory that was stuck in my mind; the image stuck in my mind was my sister taking one of the angels off because it was thin, cheap metal and using it to slide it under the tape on the presents under the tree so we could see what we had got then re-wrapping the gift so our parents would never knew. The trip down memory lane ended with me laughing out loud and smiling.

I was lucky that my childhood and adult life had not been affected by tragedy. So many in our community are not so blessed. Christmas and other holidays are reminders of pain that can be overwhelming to even get to church or buy groceries.

As I prepared for my sermon this week, I was reminded that Zachariah and Elizabeth suffered immensely and for a long time. This scripture is another reminder that many around us are suffering, too. Just like Zachariah and Elizabeth, God was “with them,” just as he is today with us.

If Christmas compounds your pain, I want to encourage you to cry out to the pain taker; His name is Jesus. “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

Good Memories are powerful and painful memories can be devastating. I encourage you to attend church this Sunday at 9:30. Hear this fantastic story of Zachariah & Elizabeth. You might walk away, understanding that God is with you and me. Did you know He died to meet and have a relationship with you? This Sunday you may taste the healing power of Jesus Christ,

In Him,
Pastor Chris