The period from Thanksgiving Day through Christmas Eve is one of the busiest times of the year for most of us. There is shopping to do. Decorating is a priority. There are parties, Christmas parades, concerts, and cantatas to attend. We gaze at a quiet nativity scene and we sing “Silent Night,” but the pace we keep during the month of December stands at some distance from the serenity we envision when we think of the stable in Bethlehem. Many of us say, every single year, “next year will be different.” We vow to plan better, prepare earlier, and focus on what is really important – family and close friends, and the true meaning of the season. And perhaps some of us are able to do that. But for most of us late November will arrive and catch us by surprise and we will begin the race to Christmas once again.
As the year draws to a close, my prayer for you is that, despite the hectic pace and the hustle and bustle of the season, you have been able to enjoy Christmas. I pray that the message of Christ’s birth has strengthened your faith in God and reminded you that we are loved by a God who was willing to go to extreme measures to redeem us and to give us hope and joy.
In just a few days, we will begin a brand new year, and that offers us a chance for a new beginning. 2017 offers us new opportunities at Collierville Christian Church. Rev. Morgan Parks will join our staff in January and he brings special gifts and talents that will enable us to reach out to the community in new ways. Courtney Brookshire has recently begun as youth director and her programs are just now beginning to take shape. Already we are seeing new faces and that means new possibilities are open to us. Some things will never change – our vision plan is committed to that. We want our church to be warm and open – to keep that family feel that has been characteristic of Collierville Christian for more than a century. We will keep our commitment to outreach ministry. And, of course, our commitment to Jesus Christ and our desire to be his body on earth will never change.
Like many of you, I am a little wistful after Christmas passes and as the New Year approaches. I like to spend a little time reflecting on the past – where we have been and what we have done. But we can’t spend too much time there. There is far too much to do now, in the present, as we build for the future. I hope that there have been at least a few quiet moments during this Advent and Christmas season. I hope you have had time to spend with family and to recharge your batteries. And I hope that you are as excited about the prospect of 2017 as I am. God can do great things through us if we have faith and are willing disciples.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Ron Buck