The spirit of Christmas is all the more important to share these days. Here are a few inspirational words from the leaders of Coronado’s churches on their beliefs on Christmas.
Christ Episcopal Church:
The Spirit of Christmas is love. It is a love so intense, so true, so real that a God powerful beyond-our-comprehension came to humankind not just to save us but to become one of us. Through humility and love, the Word that was in the beginning came to us as a wordless child. And with this incarnation, God invited humankind into the task of raising and rearing God’s own self. God invited humankind into a relationship of Love.
The Spirit of Christmas is presence. Fully human yet fully divine, Jesus Christ is the ultimate gift to God’s beloved children. Jesus Christ is God-with-us. The Word became flesh so that we could know God’s love in ways intelligible to humankind. God’s Love is the presence of caregiver on bended knee patiently teaching a child. God’s love is the presence of a friend sitting bedside at the hospital, silently sharing the burden of pain. God’s love is the presence of recognition and deep connection—that moment when you see yourself in someone else and know that you are not alone.
The Spirit of Christmas is participation. It is participating in God’s love for us through presence. It is accepting God’s incredible love for us as God’s own children; and it is allowing the joy of that realization to propel us toward participation in replicating that love for others.
The Spirit of Christmas is God’s Love for us igniting in our hearts so that we carry the gift of God’s Love out into the world.
~ The Reverend Regan M. Schutz
Coronado Community Church:
A reflection of Christmas from a different angle:
“In the midst of the world’s darkness, an unbearable light shines. Mary’s laboring led to it, upheavals of intergalactic space/time split apart, a tearing of the very sinews of reality itself. You can only cover your eyes and shudder before this: ‘God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God…who for us and our salvation,’ as Nicene Creed puts it, ‘came down from heaven.’ Only then do we see. It is the Resurrection and the Life she holds in her arms.” -F. Buechner
~ The Rev. Steve Mather
First Baptist Church of Coronado:
2020 - A Year to Remember
The Patriarch Job said, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.” Job 14:1.
What he was teaching us is that our days are too few and our troubles are too many! We might say that of 2020. However, it is good to remember what happened to Job after his tests and trials. He was blessed with twice as many blessings and twice the wealth! So, in the midst of difficulties and loss, let us dwell on the fact that God sent His only begotten Son for us all. As a result, even though 2020 is coming to an end, God is not through blessing us yet!
May God bless you all abundantly, both now and forever!
~ Pastor Jim W. Baize
Graham Memorial Presbyterian Church:
It has been a difficult year for us all. As we celebrate Christmas this season, let us remember and rejoice in the hope Jesus offers to world – Peace with God.
Merry Christmas, hoping for a better New Year.
~ Pastor David McElrath
Resurrection Lutheran Church:
There is a saying, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” This year seems be filled with unmet expectations. Many thought this pandemic would have been gone by August and certainly not with us into December. Yet, during this season of Christmas each of us needs to explore which expectations we are holding too tightly, which expectations are realistic, and which are unrealistic. What influences your opinions and beliefs? Friends and colleagues often seem to judge one another for differences in religious or political beliefs. Family members and friends have “unfriended” one another on social media and in life, like feuding families/neighbors of the past. Unrealistic expectations lead us to disappointment which turns to resentment.
During these holiest of days we need to be reminded of what is important and not let unrealistic expectations continue to divide us. Respecting one another is respecting life and respecting life is respecting the gift of diversity given by God. We are all created in the image of God, meaning we have a diverse and loving God despite of, and because of, our humanity. Christmas is about God experiencing life as one of us, it also means each of us reflects light to others. How are you shining light to your friends, your families, your mail carrier, or the grocery store clerk during this holiday season?
Merry Christmas and Happy “Holy-Days” Everyone!
~ The Rev. Dr. Brian K. Oltman
Sacred Heart Catholic Church:
As we celebrate the feast of the Lord’s birth at Christmas, our hearts and minds turn to giving. Last week, the world received an incredible gift from God: the COVID-19 vaccination. The Holy Spirit, directing the minds and labors of scientists and medical professionals, has given the world this gift, far sooner than anyone ever-imagined possible. Let us not forget to offer prayers of gratitude on behalf of those who have put their lives on the line to keep us safe.
In an Op-Ed in the New York Times, Pope Francis wrote: “In lockdown, I’ve often gone in prayer to those who sought all means to save the lives of others. So many of the nurses, doctors, and caregivers paid that price of love…We return their love by grieving for them and honoring them. Whether or not they were conscious of it, their choice testified to a belief: that it is better to live a shorter life serving others than a longer one resisting that call…They are the saints next door, who have awakened something important in our hearts, making credible once more what we desire to instill by our preaching” (New York Times, 29 November 2020).
Take time to quietly and prayerfully, give thanks to God for this Christmas blessing. Be grateful for the family gathered around you and pray for those families with empty chairs around the Christmas dinner table this year. May the Prince of Peace, grant peace on earth and goodwill to all. Merry Christmas, everyone!
~ Father Michael F. Murphy