Dear Colleyville Family,
I am so glad for the opportunity to celebrate the Advent and Christmas seasons with you for the first time as your pastor! What a blessing it is to remember the coming of Jesus in the flesh as our savior, and also to ask for him to come to us in his power again. However, in the midst of our joy, I also know that the holiday season can be a difficult time of the year, as we grieve those we love who are no longer with us and are confronted by the reality that even the joy of Christmas cannot fully take away the pain and difficulty of life in this world. In addition, this month can be a lonely time, as it may sometimes seem that everyone around us is warm and happy and surrounded by loved ones, while we are alone. If you feel alone during this season, or if this is a time of sadness for you, let me encourage you to communicate that to someone—whether to myself or anyone else in the church. Often, it’s only when we’re willing to humble ourselves and be honest about our needs that others are able to love us well. Let’s seek to be the body of Christ for one another this Advent and Christmas, and do our best to make sure none of us are left out of the joy of our fellowship.
Switching subjects, one of my convictions as your pastor is that if we are going to sustain ourselves as a healthy community of faith in this present age, we will need to continue to adopt common practices of scripture reading and prayer in our personal and family lives—just as the church has always done through the centuries. Sunday morning alone simply isn’t enough time for the word and prayer to shape us into men and women able to faithfully and fully follow Christ in this world. Advent and Christmas are a fitting time for us to begin to build these kind of practices into the life of our community and our own patterns as individuals and families. To that end, our church is offering a guide for scripture reading and prayer to take us through these seasons this year. Please don’t feel pressured to adopt this pattern if you already have your own strong habits of scripture reading and prayer. But if you’re interested in trying something new, consider using the guide as a help. My prayer for us this December is that we will each grow in our communion with God through the means of grace he offers: word, prayer & sacrament. Even as Jesus promises: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Let’s seek him together.
In the Peace of Christ,