In the movie Hook, Peter Pan (Robin Williams) has become a busy attorney in London. When his children are taken captive by the evil Captain Hook, Peter is forced into a rescue mission but alas finds himself completely unable to fly because he’s forgotten his happy thought. In a touching scene he recalls the birth of his children and remembers that he is their father. It’s this thought that sends him soaring back through the skies over Neverland.
Sometimes I think us modern church people have forgotten our happy thought. We get bogged down in programs, budgets and suspicions only to discover we’ve stopped flying and our feet are firmly planted on earth.
What does it take to make the church soar again? Perhaps we’ve forgotten our happy thought: Jesus! The joy of his coming to earth. The joy of his residence in our hearts. The joy of sharing him with everyone we know. The joy of inviting others to come to Bethlehem! Angels delivered the happy thought when they announced “Good news of great joy which shall be for all the people…” (Luke 2:10)
Close your eyes for a moment. Take a deep breath. Picture a brisk winter night under starry skies. Imagine a sudden light, shining like a full moon, pouring it’s radiance around you. The trees throw shadows on the snow. It’s a silver angel. She speaks the name “Jesus” and you can see her breath in the night air. In the midst of your cranky and resentful mood, you get the news: You have a Savior!
I believe Jesus Christ is the best thing that ever happened to the human race. Jesus Christ is the best thing that ever happened to me. He’s given me the best gifts anyone could have in this life: faith, hope and love. Church people: this is our happy thought! It is time we rediscovered it so we can fly again.
What a joy it was to see our church packed for the children’s Christmas pageant by over 200 attendees. Seventeen or more new families with children joined us for the fun. We gave away 100 children’s advent calendars and 100 Christmas ornament invitations to Christmas Eve services. I rejoiced to see many of you reaching out to visitors, introducing yourselves and learning new names. This is our happy thought lifting our feet off the earth!
Christmas Eve is coming. This year we’ve added an 11 PM Communion service to our regular line up of services at 5 PM and 7 PM. We’ve set an attendance goal for 400 on that Holy night. Now is the time to begin praying and inviting others to join us.
91% of Americans celebrate Christmas. There is an excellent chance if you invite someone to come, they will say yes. Additional publicity will go out on Facebook, flyers to local businesses, and roadside banners. We are preparing a welcome packet for everyone who attends on Christmas Eve. We have a follow up letter to be sent to our visitors by the day after Christmas. On Sunday, Dec 16, after the second service, we’ll hold a prayer time specifically for Christmas Eve.
It’s Christmas! What better time than this to re-discover our happy thought?
Pastor Tom Anderson