Peace this Christmas
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Christmas is a time for us to reflect on the birth of our Lord, and the new birth that he brings to us all. The sounds of angels sing, “Glory to God in the highest, and peace and good will to all.”
At the heart of that peace and good will is reconciling the whole human race with God. The fact that it comes to lowly poor shepherds is a sign that the peace extends especially to those who are the least among us, who have so little peace in this world.
It is my hope that you will carry that peace that comes through birth of Christ in all of life.
As most of you know by now, Karen and I will not be here for Christmas. With my formal resignation from First Lutheran Church, we will be returning to family and friends in St. Louis. It is there that we will celebrate Christmas this year.
Yet, this Christmas is a time of new birth for you. I am pleased that you have an excellent Interim Pastor in Phil Blom! Having the opportunity to get to know Phil over the years, I know he will serve you well and provide cheerful service in your midst. Christmas will be rich and full with him as your pastor, because he knows the good news and communicates with great joy.
From Karen and me, thank you for all your love and support over these past five+ years. It has been my privilege to be your pastor. Karen and I have shed many tears, and I know we will shed many more in the days to come. So have all of you for us. We are grateful for your deep and abiding friendship and community.
Mary held her little child with tears of great joy. She held him again at the foot of the cross with tears of grief and sorrow. But through the gate of death and the grave, Christ brought new joy to his people. And the angels could again be heard singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and peace and good will to all.”
Peace and Joy!