Pete’s Blog

Pete’s Blog

Mondays with Pete

December 11, 2017

Good morning;

This morning broke clear and COLD (yes, even in Florida).  As I lay in the half-slumber that is early morning, I looked out the window that sheltered me from the cold winter’s day.  The sun was just touching the tree tops with a splash of bright yellow that shown in stark contrast against the cold blue of the winter sky.  I pulled the covers up a little, not really wanting to leave the warmth, solitude and peace of the quiet house to face the day and week ahead of me.  But face it I must. I wish I had a remote for the thermostat so I could turn it up a little to take the chill off the house before I had to get out from under the warm covers.

I sit now in my office, Christmas music playing, wondering when the office will finally get warm, and trying to find some inspiration for today’s message.  The typical, clichéd words of the season come to mind through the music mentioning drummer boys, silver bells, cattle lowing, being home for Christmas, mama kissing Santa Claus and grandma getting run over by a reindeer.

What new is there to say about Christmas?  It’s all been said hasn’t it?  Why not just tell folks to listen to some Christmas music today and they’ll get the message.  But, what message will they get?  Will they get a message that is not even remotely tied to the Christmas message?  Will they get a message that paints a picture of the perfect family and prefect Christmas in the midst of lives that are full of chaos, struggle, grief and stress?

I don’t think Christmas is about having another “Hallmark moment” telling us that no matter what, there are always happy endings.  Sometimes there are not happy endings. Sometimes this thing called “life” is not sweet and syrupy and doesn’t end up with a guy in red suit flying across the face of a full moon declaring “Merry Christmas to all and too all a good night” or Jimmy Stewart proclaiming, “It’s a wonderful life.”  Sometimes we want to pull to the covers up over our heads in the quiet of the morning and not face the unexpected physical, emotional and spiritual chill of the season.  Have you ever said to yourself, “Maybe I can just hide out until New Year’s Day and it will all be over!!!”

The music filters into my mind once again through an upbeat, modern arrangement of “Angels We Have Heard on High” by Steven Curtis Chapman.  With extended “Glorias” accompanied by drums, guitar and keyboard bombarding me with the message of the season, the touch of an angel taps me on the shoulder (more like slaps me on the back of the head).

“Hey, Pete!! Angels announced the coming of the One who came to dwell among us.  You remember Immanuel – God with us.  He is with us in the grief, stress and struggle that are accentuated during this season.  He crawls under the covers with you on the days when you pull them tightly over your head not wanting to face another day of fake sweetness. He has come to put his arm around your shoulders and walk the path of life with you, many times like the poem “Footprints” tells us, carrying you when you can no longer walk through life under your own power.”

This is the gift of Christmas!!  Immanuel – God with us!!  This is what we celebrate!!

Maybe you are like me and not everything in your life is “Hallmark Moment” perfect and maybe “Happily ever after” accompanied by sweet background music is not seen as a possibility in certain situations this year.  But the GOOD NEWS is that God is with us in this imperfect life and the struggling journey we’re on.  He has given us the gift of an ultimate “happy ending!”

So climb out from under the covers for GOD IS WITH US!  Bundle up against the cold of life, for the “SON”, born at Christmas, is shining into every dark corner of our lives.  Join in the warmth of His body as it gathers for worship and fellowship.  “O, come let us adore Him” for he dwells with us!  Amen!

 

REMEMBER, YOU CAN WATCH COMMUNITY CHURCH LIVE EACH SUNDAY MORNING AT 10 AM BY CLICKING ON THE LIVESTREAM BUTTON ON OUR WEBSITE OR GO TO LIVE.SRBCC.COM. OR YOU CAN WATCH PREVIOUS SERVICES ON SRBCC.COM CLICKING ON THE VIEW SERVICE BUTTON.

 

Mondays with Pete will be away next week.   See you in two weeks.

Rev. J. Pete Hyde

Pastor

Santa Rosa Beach Community Church
850-267-2599