Ponderings for December 18 2019

I sit in the Gathering Space trying to write something meaningful and creative to you, my Trinity friends and spiritual family.
 
I am in here because the room is so nice. And because I just needed a change of venue. From now till Christmas my office (and my to-do list) is a dungeon of duties that must get done! 
 
Full. That is the status of my mind and calendar and the horizon as I look to the New Year. That’s pretty common among the staff team here and probably you, too.
 
It seems only right, but I just read that the most downloaded Bible verse among YouVersion’s 400 million users this year is Philippians 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Draw your own conclusions.
 
Full of anxiety everywhere. Tornadoes and fatalities in New Orleans. Not to mention now a major cyber attack on that beautiful city. Anxiety indeed. The House voting to impeach. Israel can’t form a government. Hong Kong and France have massive rioting and violence. I could go on (about India, North Korea, Brexit, and more) but I won’t. And still: “Be anxious for nothing…”
 
By the way, I am also full of joy and pride as our entire church community has been so kind and generous this season. Christmas trees and ornaments; food and extras for those in need; and oh, yeah—we are buying a BUS! More than just a bus; we now have the means to pay for the driver and annual maintenance. And we still have one Sunday and three Christmas Eve services to go! I love what happens when we all pray, “Lord, make me a more loving person.” 
 
Speaking of Christmas Eve, I am eager to be a part of this musical celebration of our Savior. Have you chosen which of the three services you will attend? I am also looking forward to seeing you and many of our friends and relatives and neighbors who don’t normally frequent our church home. Part of the fun of Christmas Eve here will include a photo “booth” that we have set up in the Gathering Space. You and yours can be at your photogenic best as you experience this festive addition.
 
So anyway, I was just finishing up my J Term notes on the uniqueness of Christ. Beautiful and heavy stuff. The entire J Term will be a great way to launch Trinity into 2020, where our prime focus as a church will be our Lord Jesus—knowing him and making him known.
 
Let these words from one of my favorite theologians (Don Carson) fill your heart and mind. They are a good preparation for the year ahead and for the Person of Christmas we are about to celebrate. 
 
Do you want to know what the character of God is like? Study Jesus. Do you want to know what the holiness of God is like? Study Jesus. Do you want to know what the wrath of God is like? Study Jesus. Do you want to know what the forgiveness of God is like? Study Jesus. Do you want to know what the glory of God is like? Study Jesus all the way to that wretched cross. Study Jesus.
 
I’ll catch you on the other side,
Pastor Paul