Pastor Mitch McDonald
During this holiday season that is just wrapping up, we have been focusing on the “Characters of Christmas” during our times of worship at Sun Lakes Community ChurchSun Lakes Lady Putters. I will be honest with you; when we planned the series, I thought that was a catchy title, but as I began diving into the preparation, I found myself disliking that title more and more. Although it is catchy, I think it diminishes the fact that these were real people in the story of Christmas.
Over the last several weeks, we’ve had a chance to look at people whom we normally do not highlight during the holiday season. Of course, we’ve talked about Mary, but there are others whom we often don’t talk about during the holiday season, including Joseph, Herod, and the innkeeper and others. These were people who also played a prominent role in the birth of Jesus, but not people whom we would normally highlight or draw attention to.
As we kick off 2023, during the first few weeks of January, we will continue this theme of focusing on lesser-known people who were real. Not only were they real, but they were used to continue the proclamation of God’s grace and mercy to all of humanity. There are times when we look and read or listen to the Bible that we forget that the people mentioned in the Bible were actually just that: They were people. They got colds. They stubbed their toes. They mashed their fingers. They said things they regretted saying. They looked at things they regretted looking at, and they did things they wished they hadn’t done. Nonetheless, God still showed His magnificent mercy and glorious grace.
If you’re like me, we don’t spend much time after Christmas continuing to talk about Christmas. This year, though, will be different at SLCC. In Matthew, the first chapter, we are given a glimpse of the lineage, or bloodline, of Jesus, reaching all the way back to Abraham. The journey leads us to people like Tamar and Amminadab, jumps a few generations to Rahab, and then to Ruth. Further down that road, we find Jesse, and to Jesse was born David the King. Continuing down that road, we find Jehoshaphat, and then way down the road, we find in Matthew 1:16, “and to Jacob was born Joseph the husband of Mary, by whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ.” Fourteen generations of real people who, with their lives, unpacked the story of Love.
Continuing in the road that leads up to and surrounds the account of the first Christmas, we will spend a few weeks talking about other real people, like Simeon and Anna, who saw dreams come true. We might even realize there was a prostitute in the family tree. We might also reach all the way back to one of the most famous fools of all time, the man after God’s own heart, David. In all of this, we are reminded that God loves, equips, and uses real people.
2023 is going to be filled with opportunities for us to be real in a real world that really wants to see Christ in us. I’m really excited about what 2023 has for us as a body and really excited to see you on upcoming Sundays.
From one real mess to others, Happy New Year!