This will be a Christmas like no other! There will be no large family gatherings around the Christmas dinner table, no flights to special (warmer) locations, no concerts or presentations. December is usually filled with events, so much so that it was hard to find a free evening to watch a Christmas movie or concert on the television. Not this year. In fact, we have almost exhausted the list of Christmas movies on Netflix already with two weeks to go until Christmas!

There are those who are already bemoaning the changes this year will bring. Shopping is reduced along with the budget for shopping. Things will certainly not feel the same…
But the heart of Christmas still remains the same. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. It is the story of God’s incredible love towards His rebellious creation. It is the story of Jesus, God wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger, so that the journey to a cross could begin, a journey that would lead to our salvation.

This year I watched again Dr. Seuss’ “The Grinch,” where the people of Who Ville realize Christmas is not about the presents and the decorations, the baking or the dinners. The people decide it is a feeling of the heart, a feeling of goodwill. Too bad Dr. Seuss did not go further and find the manger and the story of Jesus’ birth as the true focus of Christmas.

Our picture today is of the set for the children’s Christmas concert. So much work went into learning songs, choreography and lines and then the government said “No gatherings.” Gladly we comply if it keeps our community safer. It feels like Christmas has been torn from us… until we look center stage once more and what do we see? The manger. The story and message of Christmas does not change.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6

(By the way, the children come a few at a time, record a scene and go home. Soon we will have all the scenes recorded and we will post the concert for all to enjoy!)

– Pastor Gary

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