“Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son.”
Hebrews 1:1-2

“He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God…the Word became flesh and lived among us.”
John 1:10-12, 14

A Blessed Advent and Christmas season to you! It’s always better to learn about Christmas from the Word of God instead of the words of Hallmark and catalogs. Hebrews opens with a declaration of God’s new form of communication – through the Divine Son who had been long promised in various ways by human prophets. John tells us the Divine Word took on human flesh and lived among us. Christ-mas celebrates when Christ took on Mass.

The Word made flesh was seen and heard, only to be unrecognized and rejected. His hour of glory was inconceivably his crucifixion. Christ Jesus came to his own and his own received him not. This communication breakdown was not Jesus’ fault. It was not a failure of his words to be clear, convicting and compelling. It was a revelation of sinful humanity’s inability to hear and accept God’s life-giving words…even when God is standing right in front of you. It had to be this way. The situation had to be shown for what it was. “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.”

And nothing is more revealing of the power of sin, death, and the devil than the contemptible body of God’s child on a cross. But the Father raised His Son on the third day. You see, God’s communication breakthrough overcame our communication breakdown.

Christ had to come into our world and be crucified for our sins “so that every mouth may be silenced” (Romans 3:19) and the Word of Christ alone be found shouldering our sins, defeating our death, and exorcising evil. Jesus has done this for you. And this season we await his next advent, for he has promised to come again to make all things new…by his Word alone.

Even as we celebrate God’s Communication Breakthrough, we are developing our communications strategy at Bethesda. You will notice the Evangel is now printed in full-color and available in the pew-backs. You will notice The “blue sheet” is no longer blue, and no longer eight pages. There will likely be further developments to come. We are trying to be clearer, more concise, and better communicate our beliefs and values as a congregation. We are trying to be informative without overwhelming. We are trying to keep the first things first: Jesus Christ and the ways we follow him, form community around him, and help anyone in his name. Much more than a catalogue of activities, our communications are an invitation to come to know Christ as Savior and follow him as Lord. If you have not already done so, please complete our Communications Survey online or at the front desk. Thank you!

Pastor Tom