Dec 21, 2016

2016 Christmas Letter (edited for the web)

I bring you good news of 
great joy that will be for
the people. Luke 2:10
Christmas 2016
Dear Fellow Parishioners, members and friends of The Solid Rock Church,
When you read in the Bible about the work of the early Church, about the coming of Jesus Christ into this world, and the foundational meaning of all of His life’s purpose, you will see that the topic of salvation, or being “saved” is a constant in the Biblical narrative, although expressed in different ways. That stated purpose is something we tend not to see out in the world. How often do we watch a show on TV at this time of year and we hear someone pontificate that Christmas is all about the family, and getting together, and having a wonderful time together, etc.? There is nothing wrong with those things – they are quite wonderful. But is that what Christmas is all about? The secular culture seems unable, or unwilling, to embrace a Biblical meaning to the birth of Christ.
Read through the book of Acts and where someone was preaching/teaching about Jesus, what was the basic or foundational understanding of the Christ event? It won’t take one long to see that Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection and the gift of Holy Spirit is about the gift of salvation to all who choose to believe in Jesus Christ.
That message is still relevant today, and as the quote at the top of this letter states, it’s good news that is for all people. That is the meaning of the word “catholic” in our Nicene Creed – that the gospel message is good for all people, for all time and in all places. In other words, there never has been, nor will there ever be, a person for whom the gospel message is not supremely and eternally relevant.
“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) “I am the way, and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6) “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved, for with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Rom. 10:9-10) “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people.” (Titus 2:11)
Celebrating and thanking God for this incredible, astounding, and most profound and needed gift is the most appropriate response to God. All through the ages God’s people have come together to give thanks to Him and to worship Him in formal ways. Doing so also helps us worship Him in informal ways. I pray each and every one of us will do so this Christmas. We’d love to have you join us!
Christmas Eve service is at 6 p.m. beginning with a set of some of our favorite Christmas hymns, followed by the service proper. We will also have a time of fellowship after the service. And Christmas morning, Sunday, Dec. 25 at 10:00 a.m. we will have our Christmas morning service too! Join us for one (or both!!).
May God bless you and all your loved ones this Christmas season, and all through 2017. To God be the glory!
Yours in Christ,
Andrew S. Doan
Sr. Pastor