Exeter United Methodist Church
Thursday, January 21, 2021

Christmas 2020

A Weekly Newsletter

Exeter United Methodist Church

From the Pastor

Christmas eve will find me
Where the love light gleams
I'll be home for Christmas
If only in my dreams
If only in my dreams


"I'll Be Home for Christmas" is a Christmas song written by the lyricist Kim Gannon and composer Walter Kent and recorded in 1943 by Bing Crosby. It was written from the point of view of a soldier stationed overseas, writing home to his family.


It has become a Christmas classic sung by just about every recording artist you can name. It still holds our attention and touches us, even though most hearing it weren’t living in the time it was written.


Even those of you who were: I wonder if you can remember just how desperate were the times in which the song was originally sung. So much has happened in our country since then. The struggles and griefs of WWII seem so distant now . . .


After the war, of course, Americans turned to the business of growing families and the economy. We started to consume like never before. Christmas became the “most wonderful time of the year” for retailers. Rudolph became famous for that red nose of his. The “good life” was everything, and Frosty the snowman, it seems, became more popular than Jesus the savior.


It wasn’t long before our culture lost its spiritual foundation. We secularized. We became driven more and more by our worldly passions and desires. More and more we worshiped Mammon, we condoned sin, and what is “beautiful and good” we called bad, and what is truly ugly we started to call “good.”


I would be remiss in my duties as a pastor not to point this out – American Christians have slipped away from the Gospel. It’s no longer opinion, but a fact: Like the Laodecian church in Revelation, we have trended toward luke-warmness in our response to the good news of Jesus Christ. Now that the world needs to hear the Good News more than ever before, we seem unprepared to meet that need.


But here’s the thing: That Babe lying in the manger is a whole lot more powerful than we think and understand. All we need to do as people of faith is to tell His story of love and let His light shine in our lives. He will do the rest.


The Bible tells us that we won’t be necessarily liked for shining the light of Christ. We are kind of like that most sober roommate greeting the day with a cheery “good morning!” while drawing the curtain back on our friend’s hangover. As John says, many people love the darkness and the light tends to expose the truth of their evil deeds. (John 3:19) Just like the doctor who administers the bitter tasting but helpful medicine, we will be blamed for their misery.


But just keep telling the story, no matter what. One day, we’ll all be home for Christmas, even in our dreams, and what a sweet Christmas reunion that will be.


Have a very, merry, and blessed Christmas.


God bless you all.

Rev. Jim