Dear Friends in Christ, our Church family,
New Year’s Day has become a civil holiday in the United States and has taken on more significance than many religious holidays. Some Christians have tried to make the day religious by having “watch night” services and other celebrations. We must remember, though, that our calendar is secular along with the calendars of other cultures such as Jewish, Chinese, etc. But “Happy New Year” anyway!
Needless to say, the most important calendar for us as Christians is the “Church Year” calendar which began back on November 30 with the First Sunday in Advent. This calendar is the way the Church marks its time and schedules those Christian traditions (festivals, commemorations, etc.) which we observe. Some Christians ignore these rich traditional celebrations, choosing to ignore Church seasons (such as Advent and Lent) as well as most of the Christian holy days. In Philippians 2: 9-13 Paul makes it abundantly clear to the first European Church that we are to remember and commemorate. This was a Church under intense persecution and needed to remember and commemorate. You know, events may happen to us in 2015 which will be difficult for us but nothing like the persecution the Philippians faced. We must remember to remain true to ourselves because we were created in the image of God. We must live our lives under the Cross because it is a wondrous and glorious thing. It means that everything that happens to us pales in comparison to what Jesus endured for us. In Jesus our joy will be as lasting as His glory. THANKS BE TO GOD!
Sue and I thank you for your generosity toward us – especially your gift to assist us in enabling us to go to Israel on the week-long study tour beginning January 12. We will leave for Kansas on December 29 to visit Laura, Scott, and our grandchildren. You will be served by a worship leader from the High Country Coalition on January 4. On January 18, while we are in Israel, Pastor John Bollinger will supply. We thank you for yoking with us in ministry and your faithfulness. We pray for each of you a most happy and prosperous 2015.
Yours in Christ’s service,
Pastor David Mielke