December 24, 2012

Luke 1:50 His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.

This will be our first Christmas Day since 1979 that will not include our children’s physical presence. Their lives have had wonderful changes in the past several years that have led them other places and I am so very happy for all of them. That said, the lack of children makes me face the emptiness of the empty nest and not just at home. For many of us in mainline denominations, and others too, there is a feeling as we see fewer of the next generation in our congregations that we have failed to do our part in connecting them with the love of God and the God of love. Maybe we have liked things our way too much and haven’t crossed the generational divide in ways that we might have or should have. But when I start getting too down on myself with these thoughts I remember that church and faith have never been about us and filling our buildings or developing our programs. We are now and have always been about what God is doing. When our churches were filled and we were growing and building it was because “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” If our role has changed in recent years it is because “His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” I do not love my children any less because we will celebrate Christmas differently this year. I do not love them any less because they will not be sitting in my living room on Christmas morning. I trust all the more that God is watching over them and guiding them into His future. So it is with our congregation also. His mercy does indeed extend to those who fear him, from generation to generation. Have a very merry and blessed Christmas!

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