From the Pastor
God — Up Close and Personal
This year as we prepare again to welcome the Christ child, I invite the parents among us to remember the birth of their own children. I call to mind my own two kids, all grown up now. Though both arrivals were memorable, I can’t help reliving the day our first child, Sarah, was born. I went from being a “Dad-from-a distance” to being a Dad “up-close,” cradling this newborn in my arms, making eye contact with her, and marveling at the miracle of life I was experiencing firsthand. Being the Dad-from-a-distance was nice, of course. I saw the ultrasound photos. I put my hand on Juli’s tummy and felt the baby kick. Both children were already named before they were born. But having that “up-close” connection to my daughter was life changing. I’ve never been the same since. I suspect the same can be said for many of the Dads who are reading this today.
In the month of December life at RLC slows down a bit. We prepare to welcome the God of the universe—our Creator—in a tiny, ordinary, package of baby flesh! Of course, there are midweek Advent services and Wednesday Night Workshop opportunities that continue throughout most of the month. On December 10 we enjoy an important time of reflection on our involvement in God’s mission to the world and our life together as we gather for our semi-annual voters’ meeting. Then, on December 24 and 25, we celebrate that God got down on our level… that in that tiny Christ Child we experience God up close and personal. “[For] when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Gal 4:4-5).
Our connection to the Divine was never meant to be experienced from a distance. Jesus became flesh and blood… the divine Word was “born of a woman” so that we might experience God up close. If you have been staying home from RLC lately more out of habit than out of necessity, allow me to challenge you to make 2024 the year your up-close encounter with the Christ-child together with all of us really takes off! Jump into the activities going on at RLC. Show up on Sunday to receive the very Body and Blood of Christ, for the forgiveness of your sins. Shake hands and greet with peace the people who, together with you, make up the Body of Christ. We miss you when we don’t see you. More than that, God made us to be people who see AND touch the Life that has been born in our midst (1 John 1:3). Let’s make this the year we experience Him in person, together.
A very blessed Christmas to one and all!