Fruitland First United Methodist Church
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
A Small Church With a Big Mission.

Pastors Notes

 

From the Pastor's Desk . . .          
         
It’s the most wonderful season of the year…
It is amazing that children instantly know this is a time to wish for gifts. Decorating Christmas tree and wiring many little, but bright lights around it are the most exciting labor for them, because they knew there will be gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. I remember when I was about the age of Grace, I hung a giant red sock on the wall and waited for Santa Clause as fighting with my heavy and sleepy eyelids. It was the most wonderful season of the year whether I was a true believer of Jesus Christ or not. I was just a kid more likely any of them today.
For the last few years, Mia and I have often discussed about how to teach Grace “the true meaning of Christmas” Once we cut our budget off not to give any gift for Grace at Christmas, but told her this is not her birthday, but Jesus’. Even though she seemed understood what we tried to say so, it caused to bring her bigger wishes on her next birthday in spring. How about ‘Santa Clause’? Is it that bad for kids to know and expect him to be in their wishes? Maybe, I was theologically right to teach Grace about the ‘Christ has not come for gifts, but to save us’, but emotionally I felt lost something important in her life that I had in a time when I was her age. How can I make this season most wonderful and exciting to her?
On Grace’s last 5th birthday, I made a surprising announcement to her that I found a friend having same age and same birthday with her. Her name is Meron who lives in Uganda in Africa, but need a friend. I told her she would be her good friend as sharing her notes, school stories and even little gifts. I believe that It will be an opportunity for Grace to understand someone she even not met or known can be blessings on her life. Just like Jesus’ birth, it was not quite fancy or rich with a lot of gifts, but would he himself become the ultimate gift for all children of the world?
In the Bible, ‘Immanuel’ which means “God is with Us” is the prophesied name of Jesus Christ. This is also the last words of promise from him to his disciples(Matthew 28:20). I have learned many different countries and cultures celebrating this season with different understandings and traditions, but the one truth is that they all are happy and joyful. I think it is not because they do have many gifts and fancy parties around themselves, but because they know “God is with them” and that’s the ultimate gift for their lives.
It’s the most wonderful season of the year…, because we believe this God who has sent his only begotten son to us as a gift for all who are in the world. God gave him on the very Christmas day to those in Africa, to those in hunger, to those in war, to those in prison, to those in crisis, and to us, because He love us, His children like Jesus. What could be something important I missed as cutting our budget for Grace’s gift on Christmas? I believe that it was an action to give, to share, and to tell about “GIFTS OF GOD” at Christmas. “You are the gifts to your family, to your friend, to your church, to your community, to yourselves, because God sent Jesus, his only son for you.”   
Merry Christmas to you and your family, and you are the best gifts and blessings to me and to my family!
Pastor John Go