Pastor Letter: December 13, 2018
Dear Church Family:
As 2017 comes to a close with the celebration of our Lord’s incarnation and the dawning of a new year, we are compelled to pause and thank our Heavenly Father for giving us such an incredible year of blessings, ministry, and service. Reflecting on this year, I am amazed at God’s providential care of this fellowship. 2017 was a fantastic year for Buck Run. God’s blessings were poured out on us in growth, grace, and vision. Now 2018 looms before us with all of its challenges, opportunities, and possibilities, and it promises to be a momentous year. In just over a month we will celebrate our 200th anniversary and soon our 200-year history will be completed and published.
I continue to be amazed at your trust in the Lord and, specifically, your ability to make whatever adjustments are required in order to do the work of ministry God has given us. Thank you for your flexibility and willingness to put the task over process, ministry over tradition, and Christ over all. We said goodbye to some great pastoral staff members, but for the very best reasons. Since then, the Lord has continued to add to our church and also our members have stepped into key roles and duties while we search for others that the Lord might bring us.
This Sunday, December 17, will be our annual Walk to the Manger. As I mentioned in the last Forerunner, I am asking EVERYONE to give SOMETHING. I suggest that you give more to the Lord than you give to anyone else at Christmas. That requires intention, planning, and even sacrifice. When we give significantly to a mission offering like the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, it will probably require that we give less to others or spend less on ourselves, but those are good and right decisions. Searches, as we have learned, are always costly, but love pays whatever the search costs. So Sunday, when I ask you to come forward and make your offering, I hope you will give the Lord an offering that is worthy of Him.
On Sunday, December 24, we will only have one service at 10:45 and no Sunday School, but in the service we will enjoy a very special and wonderful celebration of Communion to remind us that the real meaning of Christmas is Easter. In other words, Jesus was born that He might give Himself for us and die for our sins. When we observe the Lord’s Supper at Christmas, we celebrate His death, burial, and resurrection as the culmination of the Christmas story.
Then on Christmas Eve, at 5pm, we are going to have our first Christmas Eve service. It will be a special time for the Buck Run family to bring our extended family to hear the story and look to Christ as the object of our worship and the heart of our celebration. Though the service won’t last long, we trust it will deepen your observance of Christmas and give you an opportunity to use this holiday to help others, whether family or friends, to hear the good news and perhaps even to be saved.
I assure you that Tanya and I feel loved all year long, but never more so than at Christmas. Thank you for the many cards, sweets, baked goodies, Reese’s Cups (I LOVE the Christmas Tree versions!), and the many expressions of affection and kindness. Serving Buck Run as pastor has been the greatest joy of my ministry. Merry Christmas, dear friends. You are a gift of God to me for which I will forever be grateful.
God bless us, everyone!