The appearance of the Bethlehem Star this year brought a ray of light both literally and figuratively to this year that has seen so much seeming darkness brought on by the pandemic the challenges it has brought with it. It is well to remember God put a star in the night sky to guide the wise men to where the Christ child lay. God still puts stars in the sky to light our night and guide our way. On that first Christmas challenges had to be overcome, long distances had to be traveled and a king tried to deceive and misguide them, but through it all God guided the ancient magi with a star. The star was a sign of God's love to all people in all places that God's love was reaching out to them. Through darkness and adversity, God will guide you, too. In your darkest night, through your greatest trial, God will never leave you alone. God will put a star in the night to break through the darkness and guide your way. Your star may take on different forms, but take hope and know that God will shine through the darkest night to show you love and life.
How can we trust God's love for us? -Simple, because God cared enough to share all of our life with us in Christ born in a humble manger, and then in Christ to show us the way of love and new life.
Whatever challenge you face, however dark your night, take heart! Follow the star, and kneel before the Christ child, and know the peace and hope and love that only He gives. Know that in the greatest darkness God's love shines brightest, and God loves you!
(scripture of the week)
The wise men went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. (Matthew 2.9-11 NIV)
Amid the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, open your heart to God's amazing love . . . and the true miracle of Christmas! And then let the miracle last the whole year long—Pastor TJ
(Prayer of the week)
Loving Heavenly Father, I open my heart to your amazing love, let the light of your love shine into my life. Forgive me of failures of the past, and give me new life through the miracle of Christ. Fill my life with the true gifts of Christmas--your hope, peace, love and joy. May I find a new purpose in life and a new promise for the future, through your grace and to your glory. Amen.
(quote of the week)
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!--Charles Dickens
Dr TJ Jenney, PhD
Dr. T. J. Jenney, Ph.D. is a seasoned pastor and leader who has served churches as well as served as a campus minister and chaplain for police and fire departments as well as the Air Force Auxiliary. Dr. Jenney also served as a faculty member at Purdue University, serving as an adjunct professor in Organizational Leadership. His experience includes serving as a president and CEO of non-profit organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Higher Education Administration from Purdue and an M.Div and an S.T.M. from Yale University. He served as a contributing editor of William B. Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (1989) and Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000), as well as written articles for journals.