Pastor’s Pen For December

To Do Life Better, Together…

Wow, it’s almost Christmas again! I am not too sure what Christmas shopping or even the Boxing Day sales will look like this year and perhaps Christmas itself for a lot of people will look very different. It is my hope that you have someone you can be with in person this holiday season.

This year, I have heard the word freedom spoken a lot. I am not really sure if we understand the meaning which comes from it but it does seem like we connect this 7 letter word with whatever we want to without taking any account in mind to our perceptions.

Christmas is a joyous time of year! It needs to be about family, loved ones, friends but at the centre, it needs to be the reason we have this season. Did you know Christmas started by pagan worship until the church created it to be celebrated with the birth of Jesus; the gift that was given to all mankind? There is a lot in the story that one could dissect and draw out, but to tell you the truth, what I think is more important at this present time is the
misconceptions that surround this season!

I have heard on countless occasions from a broad scope of people their dislike for Christianity and/or their disgust at a previous experience (church or people). This saddens me so much. As a pastor, I love the church and it is true that there are many stories where the church has failed people but there are many more stories where they didn’t fail! It’s common in today’s society that we focus on the negative.

It is easy to point out what is wrong with something and it takes a lot more effort to find what is right. We are negative by nature and need to teach ourselves to be positive. We find faults in the church as well as christianity and turn our back on it too much and too quickly.

In any area of your life you will always find those who fail you in their service. My wife and I get our cars washed by a fantastic local business we support here in Yarrabilba but there are so many companies, or should I say people, washing cars! There is in fact a lot of skill to washing a car properly! To find someone who cleans your car without damaging the paint is harder than you might think. I have had bad experiences, with what seems to be a simple task, from people who just wash cars without possessing the necessary skills, knowledge and passion for what they do and boy can you tell the difference! But, at no point did I give up on car detailers!

We give up on christianity too easily without understanding what christianity is about… Christ! Christians are not perfect, I’ll be the first one to tell you that! We don’t have it all together; the only difference between a non-believer and a christian is that the latter has received forgiveness for their sins. We are people who are not perfect, who are human, walking in the efforts to follow the example of Jesus.

The reason for this season of Christmas is not about the presents (although that can be fun), it is the gift that was given to mankind. The ultimate gift born in common surroundings to common people, who would live in a manner to set an example for us to follow and would later die for us; to be the punishment for us. He exists to extend grace towards us so that we could live free. Free from everything that might encumber us, including prejudice of bad experience, offences, unforgiveness, hatred and whatever
human emotions and feelings you can think of!

Without the willingness to disregard prejudice, how can we call ourselves free or get upset when our freedoms are encroached?

Christmas without Christ at the centre is just a ‘mas’. With the New Year soon to be upon us, perhaps it is time to give God another go! Maybe, you have nothing else to lose!

Church is just a group of people doing life better, together.

We say we are ‘a community for the community’. So I invite you to come and join our community, because it takes a village to live!

By Peter Hartley
(Senior Pastor, Dunamis Church)