Christmas Thoughts

Dear Belcroft Family,

We are excited as our move to Maryland draws even closer this week. Amy and I have been very busy packing up our home in West Virginia and hopefully by tomorrow afternoon everything will be ready to go into the shipping container that will be delivered next week. I continue to praise God for His faithful protection and guidance in and over our lives as there was a major fire in the home next to ours Sunday night. Thankfully, the elderly couple that lives there were not home, and the fire was mostly contained to the inside though a large portion of the internal structure was destroyed.

These events have caused me to contemplate the wonder of how our great and holy God is also personally and intimately involved in guiding and protecting the lives of His children. This reality is vividly displayed throughout the events surrounding the Christmas story. Consider how God tenderly informed and encouraged Mary about all that would happen in and through the miraculous birth of Christ. How about the specific and very clear leading of Joseph concerning the nature of Mary’s pregnancy as well as protecting them from the heinous plot of Herod. Yet, God’s particular, sovereign involvement also intersects with the lives of the lowly shepherds who experienced the most glorious Christmas greeting of all time as well as the personal guidance given to the wise men. Every aspect of Christmas was under God’s personal watch care including the timing of the census taken by Quirinius that drove Joseph to Bethlehem, the timing of Mary’s delivery, and the awesome fact that supreme majesty was born in a manger stall. Therefore, as the Word informs us, all these things happened according to God’s divine timeline and under God’s personal providence (Gal 4:4).

I fully understand how busy we all are at this time, especially those of us who are preparing to move and begin a new ministry. But, I pray that these thoughts will both comfort and provoke your heart this day to consider God’s intimate involvement in the lives of His people. Christmas truly is great news for all people (Lk 2:10-14) because the God of all the earth has so personally made Himself known to man in order that man might have peace with God (Mt 1:21). However, the glory and grandeur of Christmas is only the beginning as God’s personal and sovereign involvement into our lives is seen so clearly in the salvation of those of us who believe, and the daily grace that preserves, provides for, and ultimately protects all of His children. But that is a post for another day. J May we all live our lives in light of these truths today as we worship with hearts overflowing with joy because of Immanuel who is God with us (Mt 1:23)!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours,

Pastor Matt

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