Merry Christmas from Arden UMC!

As Christmas Day dawns, I want to offer you a hearty Merry Christmas from your Arden UMC family!

In last night’s 7 pm service, we read John 1, which reminds us,

In the beginning was the Word
and the Word was with God
and the Word was God.
The Word was with God in the beginning.
Everything came into being through the Word,
and without the Word
nothing came into being.
What came into being
through the Word was life,
and the life was the light for all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light.

Indeed, we will read this passage again this morning as we gather for Sunday—Resurrection Day—worship at Arden UMC.

The Gospel of John, like the Gospel of Mark, lacks a birth account of Jesus. However, John starts his Gospel even earlier—at the very beginning.

I take great comfort in knowing that God’s story is indeed an eternal one. An eternal story punctuated by the birth of a baby in a small Middle Eastern town. A baby who would grow to be a man who would be just what the prophets had foretold. Just what the people had cried out for. Just what we yet need today—a light that shines in the darkness which no darkness can extinguish.

My prayer for each of you this day is that you know the deep and abiding love and presence of God this day and every day. And that this Christmas might be a powerful reminder to you that our God has included us in a story that goes back to the very beginning. A story we get to be part of. A story which God is always actively involved in. A story about hope and healing and newness.

May your lives know and experience that light, hope, healing and newness this day and in the year ahead.

Grace and Peace.

Rev. Sarah Schlieckert