The midweek update from the Pioneer Memorial Church
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Peace On Earth

Seeking and Celebrating the Real Meaning of Christmas

Entering a large grocery store a couple of months ago, I was startled by several large displays near the checkouts and exits. There, nestled in between the bins of fresh fall candy and treats, were stacks of boxed Christmas chocolates and stocking stuffers. The Christmas season had begun and it wasn’t even October.

Sometimes it seems that the gap between Christmas and the rest of the year is getting shorter. This eagerness to get a jump on holiday cheer is purely practical from a retailer’s point of view: Stores typically make more than half of their yearly sales during these few short weeks. Shopping has become a pretty substantial part of the North American Christmas tradition.

Yet Christmas is and should be so much more than what we buy. Gifts are fun, both to give and receive, but they are only symbolic of a much greater gift:

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The love of God came down to earth - now that is something to celebrate!

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the busyness of Christmas. That doesn’t mean we have to lose track of the significance of this time of year, or miss out on the opportunities it can present. Here are some simple ways that you can incorporate the real meaning of Christmas into your family’s holiday:

Good Will Toward Men

Gift giving is a wonderful way to reflect to each other, God’s love for us. This seems particularly true when we are giving of our time and gifts to those in need. Here are just a few examples:

-Volunteer together (include the grand-kids!) – to pack toys and food into hampers that will be delivered to needy families before Christmas or to serve Christmas dinner to the homeless at a downtown mission

Good News of Great Joy...

...for all people – Christmas is a time of unusual openness to spiritual things. Jesus is on everyone’s lips, whether they know Him or not. There is no greater gift you can give those who have not yet met the Lord than to share with them the good news of the real Christmas. Here are some ideas:

-Invite your loved ones to church - many churches go to great lengths when they plan Christmas services, to reach those who do not yet know Christ. Perhaps there is a musical or play that dramatizes Christ’s birth and the meaning of His coming, or a special Christmas carol service. These are not only a great way to spend time celebrating God’s grace with the people you care about during the holidays, but a wonderful beginning for a conversation about their spiritual beliefs.

-Invest in some literature (booklets, pamphlets or tracts that convey Christmas greetings in addition to the message of the gospel) – these are a wonderful way to share Christ with someone, particularly if you fear that you “won’t know what to say.” Hand these out to your neighbors with holiday baking or chocolates, pass them on to guests you have invited to your church Christmas play, or share them with carolers when you invite them in for a hot drink.

Enjoy all the good things Christmas has to offer this year as you celebrate the reason for the season.

by RuthAnn Raycroft

*originally printed in Thoughts About God


Health and Wellness Fest

Andrews University will be hosting a Health and Wellness Fest on January 12 and 13. The fest will feature special workshops,  plank challenges, a 5k awareness walk, and special guest, re-known Dr. Chidi Nwagba, from the UK.

Come to the Health and Wellness Fest and learn more about living wholly! For more information and to register for free click  here.  


Christmas Eve Service

A special program entitled “Light in the Darkness” will be held today, on Thursday in the PMC Sanctuary at 6:30 p.m. The evening will feature music and scripture celebrating our Savior’s birth.  Bring your family and celebrate the birth of our Savior!


Church Service at PMC

There will only be one service at 11:45 a.m. on Sabbath, December  26.

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