22 December 2021
Merry Christmas Yorkshire Church!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. There is truth in this statement. It qualifies as “most” because it is simply the time of year that we focus “most” on the arrival of our Messiah, Emmanuel, God with us! This focus results in a great deal of wonderful activity for us in addition to a couple of weeks or months of hearing music on the radio proclaiming the Newborn King!
I am reminded of this each day when I get home as there are several Christmas cards on the counter that arrived in the mail that day. This time of the year is wonderful in that we think a little bit more of others- even to the extent that we mail them a specific message- often proclaiming our love of God and the blessing of having Jesus in our life. Many cards come with a personal note of sharing good tidings and cheer-if not a reflection of the sender’s joy, often a wish for our own.
We share gifts. For us, it may not always be extravagant gifts or major awards. The gifts may simply be a box of Christmas cookies, fudge, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup snowman, or maybe a wrap to put around your evening cup of tea. Each represents the thoughts and love of others, and their efforts to share with those around them; which is a blessing of Christmas. It is wonderful to see a focus on giving to others in need during this time of the year. Yorkshire Church’s Angel Tree tradition exemplifies our willingness and desire to share the Holy Spirit of God. This is wonderful.
We often take time during this wonderful time of year to partake in additional fellowship with one another. This may be at the church, or maybe in a gathering room where you live, or even on a group phone call with family members. Many of you have shared travel plans to see friends and family- in each case to share the holiday; share the sentiments of a season that generates a desire to experience time with folks that you don’t get to see on a regular basis. Each of you that have shared such plans, have done so with an extraordinary twinkle in your eye- because you know it will be wonderful.
I felt tremendously blessed a week or so ago to have dinner with our church and preschool staff as we gathered together in a simple time of fellowship, a time of reflection and conversation about where each of us were in the cycle of Christmas preparation; it was a time of sharing in who we are in our daily lives with no focus on the responsibilities of our work or the tasks that were at hand. It was simply a time for us, to be us, and celebrate a
common bond for which God has brought us together. This wonderful time of year seems to remind us to do this- we should do it more often.
During this wonderful time of the year, I look back at the previous 12 months and assess all that has occurred, all that has been accomplished, and all of the goals and objectives that have been fulfilled. At Yorkshire, this brings many great reflections for me; but not of the accomplished tasks, but of the teamwork and comradery that brought about the results. Hours of discussions with our leadership team, staff, and members of our preschool board, Boy Scout leadership, and the sharing of ideas with many of our fellowship are now manifested in my heart as wonderful elements that God is bringing together to carry out His plans for our church. (OK, so some of the “hours” are not quite as wonderful as others, but they are still wonderful!).
This is a wonderful time of year as it also finds a way to heighten our awareness and memories of those who are no longer with us. This can be difficult and one might challenge how it can be considered wonderful in any such way. But it is through the difficult emotions that we understand how wonderful our time with our loved ones were. And we remember that it is in Him that we know that our love lives on, both in our hearts as well as those that we love that are now with Him. It is in the difficulty of loss that we find new ways to lean on the wonderful love of our Heavenly Father.
As we celebrate the pinnacle of this Christmas season on Friday evening, we will hear in our scriptures validation of why we consider this the most wonderful time of the year. Our Father in Heaven personally sent an angel to make the following announcement, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Then He sent an angelic choir that filled the sky to proclaim, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Of all of the elements of wonderful that I have discussed, there is one constant. Jesus Christ. He is present in all of our activities, our fellowships, ministries, gatherings, outreaches, and even our meetings. He is present in our hopes, joys, and even our sorrows. He has been central to all that we have done over this past year, and we know He will be present in all that is to come. He has led us to tremendous restoration in all aspects of our lives, and He continues to provide us with Hope for what lies ahead. He is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace. And this is why when we keep Him at the center of all that we do throughout the year, and our reflections on it are nothing short of wonderful.
Holly and I, on behalf of our entire family, wish each of you a Merry Christmas. We consider being a part of the fellowship of Yorkshire Church to be a wonderful blessing and we thank each of you for that!
125 Edgewood Road, York, PA 17402 • (717)755-4952 • www.yorkshirechurch.org