Parents usually cringe at the sight of these words on a toy: “Some assembly required.” Frankly, I discovered that “some” was an understatement! Janet and I often spent time each Christmas Eve putting things together late at night and early the next morning. Of course, the joy on the faces of our children was worth it.
We dreaded the thought that parts were missing, or perhaps screws and bolts did not fit. There are many in our world who despair during this Christmas season and scoff that life comes “unassembled.” Woody Allen, the famous director and actor, stated, “The universe is merely a fleeting idea in God’s mind.” The president of Cambridge University, G. N. Clark, said in his inaugural address: “There is no secret and no plan in history to be discovered. I do not believe that any future consummation could make any sense of all the irrationalities of the preceding ages.” How hopeless and clueless.
There are those who scoff at the idea of a plot in the story of history. It is only, as one historian wrote, “One emergency following another, as wave falls upon wave.” Christians believe that God not only oversees history, but invaded our planet in the form of a Baby who would become our Savior. It was historically contextualized during the reign of Caesar Augustus (Luke 2:1). Jesus came to “bring good news of great joy for all the people” (Luke 2:10).
As pictured, our family wishes you a Merry Christmas. This includes Janet and me, Kristin and Eric and their children, and Allyson and Scott with their daughter and foster baby. Evan and Lauren are not able to be here this year due to his new ministry in St. Joseph, Missouri. We love you and “declare all that God has done with us” this year and “opened a door of faith” (Acts 14:27).
Be in prayer as we begin a new Worship Service in the Chapel at 11:00 on January 6. Dr. Stearns will lead the choir and orchestra as in the 9:30 service and offer a more traditional selection of songs. I will be preaching in that service and alternate speaking between that and the 11:00 Worship Center band-driven service. I will rely on our gifted pastoral staff to share in the preaching. At times, we may even utilize our technological capabilities of live video and connect both services. May the Lord bless you this season and all through the New Year. He calls us to work with you in “assembling” His Kingdom through our choices of faith and obedience. As we trust Him, everything will fit together (Ephesians 4:15, 16).