The Christmas season is filled with times of welcome and farewell. We have people over for gatherings. We welcome family back home for the holidays. Students come back from college. In a short time we need to say goodbye as people head on to their next adventure. The word “goodbye” is derived from an earlier blessing, “God be with you.”
Jesus said goodbye to the perfect presence of the Father to enter into our world and say hello to us in a new way. We are grateful for this gracious act that brings salvation to all who embrace Jesus by faith. Because of God’s goodness toward us we want to share our lives with others through hospitality and proactive interaction with others for the sake of the kingdom of God.
Watch for opportunities to say hello to someone this month with the grace of Jesus in mind. When it is time to say goodbye, don’t let sadness overcome you but give a blessing with the confidence that God has good things in store for the one departing to other places.
On Christmas Eve we will be privileged to have members from St. John Lutheran Church join us for our worship services (9:30 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.) They will be saying a goodbye of sorts to life as they have known it as a worshiping congregation at the corner of Manet and Fremont on December 17th. This will be a time of mixed feelings: sadness, hopefulness, grief, relief… May our hearts be open to welcome and show compassion, to listen and share vision of a good future together.
I look forward to this season with all of you and to what the Spirit has in store for us.
Grace and peace,