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Message for Christmas Eve 2018: “Spiritual Rebirth”

God bless you on this marvelous Christmas Eve. Prepare for the Christ child to inspire and empower you this wonderful season.

Amid the holiday cheer arises a profound question: How do you feel about your spiritual life? Christmas is a great time to recharge your spiritual batteries. People often focus on images of Jesus’ physical birth, including the manger scene with the adorable baby surrounded by Mary, Joseph, angels and quiescent animals. As charming as is this mental image, God wants you to transcend mere sentimentality and nostalgia. God invites you to embrace a magnificent spiritual life, represented by Jesus’ birth. Are you ready for such a decisive transformation?  What better time than now to claim personal           renewal.

Jesus’ birth is not merely some historical event to be indulged with rampant materialism and super-sized holiday dinners. The Christmas Spirit beckons spiritually-awakened people to overcome the glitter of distractions and the trappings of wrappings. God’s presence remains in the world through the ongoing, symbolic power of Jesus’ birth, a reminder of the promise and possibility of new life and spiritual light. The challenge involves embracing God in a persistent, pervasive manner. God promises that renewal is possible if you earnestly seek it. Once realized, you will know that God’s presence is an extraordinary gift that will keep on giving.

People of faith are invited to be joyful beyond the commercial seasonal imagery. It’s great that you cherish the special nature of Christmas Eve. What can accompany your good cheer is participation in St. John throughout the year. We need you! Living a productive spiritual life entails cultivating a desire to represent God to the world, and you can DO it! The mission of St. John involves partnering with God to help existing Christians become Disciples (the “D”) and then to partner with God to produce new Christians through Outreach (the “O”)—hence you can DO it.

As to gifts, proclaim that you have received the ultimate one: a new life in Christ through spiritual rebirth. Amid an epidemic of fear, ignorance and anger, the world needs the redemptive power of God more than ever. Join us and together we’ll help one another live a better life as we celebrate a God-inspired lives.

The power of your spiritual life is demonstrated through your living of Jesus’ gospel message, which involves receiving and sharing God’s love and truth. This means that you are challenged to match your words with your behavior, your talk with your walk. The sincerity of your Christian faith attends closely with how you think and live, with your attitudes and actions shining as a beacon of God’s presence. As a child of God you are both privileged and honored to make a positive difference in the world. Here you are on Christmas Eve filled with joy and good intentions. Take all this positive energy and strive for transformation. As you dedicate your life anew, the challenges you encounter can make you stronger if you don’t turn negative. God can help you grow stronger by overcoming obstacles.

Please come regularly and participate in some faith-building ministries at St. John’s United Church of Christ. We want you to be a part of the miracle of personal renewal. The Renew Celebration ministry happens Sunday mornings 9:00 – 10:00 AM in the fellowship hall, where you’ll enjoy a mini-service of sharing & caring along with a new PowerPoint faith lesson which begins the first Sunday of 2019. Also, starting Thursday 11 January 6:00 – 7:00 PM the Renew Seminar restarts after the holiday break. In this venue you’ll enjoy faith fellowship and a lively lesson that feeds your spiritual renewal. Alongside our faith studies St. John even offers fitness classes taught by a certified instructor. This reinforces our overall ministry philosophy of holistic wellbeing, which entails helping people achieve health in body, mind and spirit.

On behalf of my wife Cynthia and son Sean, I wish you a blessed Christmas. I pray that God will inspire you to accomplish wonderful acts of compassion. May your faith be glowing with the power of God’s spirit, a shining testimony to your spiritual life. Let us therefore enter a covenant, one with another, such that together our spiritual vitality will extend into 2019 and beyond. God bless you and Merry Christmas!     –Reverend Hoxey