Advent & Christmas Greetings
Dear Brother’s and Sisters in Christ,
Advent is here once again. What a blessing it is to live in the light of Christ’s coming at Bethlehem and Holy Week, in joyful anticipation of His coming again to bring in the new creation He has won for us. With Advent comes our Advent Midweek Services. I wanted to let you know the theme for these Services this year.
There are different ways of looking at Advent. One way is to look at it as the season of God’s promises. God promises that He will send the Savior. In fulfillment, Jesus came at Bethlehem and will come again in glory on the Last Day. But just what is the nature of a promise? Answering this question will be the theme for the Advent Midweek Services. Specifically, this theme will look like this:
Blessings and peace to you in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord, the Prince of Peace.
Why do i need religion anyway?
Some people may ask: “Why do I need religion anyway?” We could respond by saying that it is not so much why we need religion, but why we need Jesus Christ. Christianity is all about Jesus Christ; who He is, what He has said, what He has done, and what He has established. So we can talk about it this way: what matters most is knowing who God is and being right with God. Jesus Christ is the answer to these questions.
The initial question is whether knowing God and being right with Him really matters. A person who does not believe that God exists or thinks that God has does not have any bearing on our existence, would probably consider knowing and being right with God as irrelevant. For such a person, Christianity has very little to say, because Christianity assumes that the two most important questions of human existence are knowing God and being right with Him. Some might say that Christianity would still have something to offer because it would provide a moral code to live by. Christianity does provide a moral code to live by, and that is good as far as it goes, but so do all other religions. Christianity asserts that we need something more than just a moral code in order to know who God is and be right with Him, because we also need to be reconciled to God, from whom we are estranged, which reconciliation we cannot accomplish. We need to know what God thinks of us and how we can come to trust God.
Here is the deal. If God made us, then our existence as human beings ultimately only makes sense in relation to God. Many human beings, whether they believe in God metaphysically or not, know in some sense that something is not quite right with them and the human race. This should be a clue that there is some One from whom we are estranged, and that there is some ultimate moral standard and goodness from which we have fallen, to which we need to be reconciled. Christianity teaches that God is our source of life and all that is good, but that we have fallen from Him and need to find our way back to Him. The fear and anxiety that accompanies the gnawing sense that something is wrong provides a clue that we know instinctively that there is some ultimate account-giving that will take place before some One whom we cannot escape. Modern human beings and modern society go to great lengths to drive these things out of our consciousness and explain such realities away. For many, however, they do not go away, and there is something terribly lacking in the modern view of what is ultimately real.
If this describes you, if you find yourself, in those moments in which you are truly honest with yourself, thinking that something is wrong and something huge is missing, then you may be bumping up against the reality that is God and your own need to be reconciled to God, whether you would be intellectually inclined to admit God exists or not. What you are dealing with, however, is real because God is real and we humans truly are His creation. Since God is real, then the two ultimate issues come into play immediately: knowing who God is and being right with Him.
We all know that Christianity is not the only “religion” in the world. The question remains, however, how any given religion addresses the two ultimate questions. Christianity addresses those questions directly in a manner that reflects God’s truth, faithfulness, love, and grace. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the answer, God’s gift to us, and that who He is and what He has done for us in His death and resurrection is good news for which the human soul longs. If this sounds intriguing to you, please pay us a visit on Sunday morning or give our pastor a call.
God’s blessings and peace to you in the Name of Jesus.
copyright 2021 Charles Westby
Rev. Charles W. Westby, M.Div., J.D.