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Christmas Greeting 2023

by Kim Reisman
Executive Director
World Methodist Evangelism

 

I have been transfixed by the images that have been coming out of the NASA James Webb Space Telescope recently. If you have a chance, scroll through some of them in the gallery on the STScI website. It will give you a new sense of awe at the magnificent work of our Creator God.

As I’ve looked and reflected on these images – especially in these days leading up to Christmas, I’ve been reminded that our God didn’t just create our amazing universe, set it in motion, and then step out of the picture. From the very beginning – from God’s first creative acts all the way to the hope of a new heaven and a new earth, God freely chooses to enter the history of creation. To enter our world, our history.

The Pillars of Creation image (right above) brings this to life in a vivid way – as though the telescope has revealed the creating hand of God amidst the stars.

The creating hand of God – not only the source of all creation, but forever connected to its unfolding history. Through the birth of Jesus, God has entered the dimensions of space-time to reveal his true nature. No wonder the angels came proclaiming good news of great joy to all people!

The good news we celebrate at Christmas is that in Jesus, God’s fully creative acts have now led to God’s fully redemptive acts. God’s salvation is whole-creation salvation – God’s intention not only for us, but for the entire universe.

As you celebrate the birth of the Messiah Jesus, I pray that you will experience the wonder of God’s good creation and recognize God’s hand still at work in it as he moves us toward his redemptive intention. And I join the Apostle Paul in his wonder and his prayer:

When I think of the wisdom and scope of God’s plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.

And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never fully understand it Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

(Ephesians 3:14-19, NLT)

Thank you for all that you are and do. Merry Christmas!