Christmas Letter to My Church

The following is adapted from a letter we sent to our church congregation this Christmas season.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). These were Paul’s words from a prison cell to the church at Philippi. They are poignant and timely for us this Christmas season at Wilkesboro Baptist. 2020 has brought more than its share of frustrations, challenges, and obstacles. Yet we still have reason to rejoice. 

Please don’t read that opening paragraph and consider it insensitive. Some of us reading this letter have suffered this year (loss of loved ones, loss of employment, loss of financial security). Most of us have experienced anxieties and isolation this year. All of us have faced the unique circumstances brought on by the pandemic, political division, and interpersonal struggles. As a staff at WBC, we care deeply for you and have spent much time in prayer for you and over you this year. Yet we still have reason to rejoice. 

There are many things we miss this year. We miss a sense of normalcy in life and in church. We miss the regularity of our gatherings and the familiarity of our worship services.  But most of all, we miss each other. As your pastor, I miss seeing you on Sundays entering our sanctuary or walking through the hallways. I miss your greetings and your smiles. Yet we still have reason to rejoice. 

We can anticipate the hope around the corner—vaccines that work, the new life brought by springtime weather, a return to a familiar schedule. We can be grateful for unexpected blessings—time with family, slower pace of life, reminders of what is most important. We have reason to rejoice. 

According to Psalm 98 on which the carol “Joy to the World” is based, we have great reasons to rejoice.

  • We rejoice in God the Savior. If we have assurance of God’s forgiveness and eternal life, we can rejoice.
  • We rejoice in God the King. Because God reigns and has made us part of his kingdom, our hope rests on a more sure foundation than politicians and governments.
  • We rejoice in God the Judge. Christ will return one day in judgment and justice. That he has judged our sins already on the cross gives believers confidence and peace to face the uncertainties of tomorrow.

We have reason to rejoice that when our experience of church changed, the mission of the church did not.

It is our mission to lead our neighbors and the nations to follow Jesus.

Because of your faithfulness and generosity Wilkesboro Baptist Church has been able to support mission partners financially. Our church and mission partners have spent 2020 feeding the hungry, caring for the hurting, ministering to the lonely, counseling the broken, and spreading the good news of Jesus to the lost. I want to thank you for your words of encouragement, support, generosity, and participation in church during 2020. We are blessed that so many of you are watching, commenting, and sharing our worship services each week. Thank you for being a reason to rejoice. 

Merry Christmas!

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Christmas Letter to My Church

  1. Thank you for this beaautiful message. Paul’s letter the the Phillipians is indeed a source of hope when all seems hopeless. Through Christ who strengthens us we can rejoice in all times and all places – through Christ who strenghtens us there is never a hopeless situation. Generous hearts and hands are the least we can give in return. Merry Christmas.


  2. Having time to rejoice during this time is challenging for me- giving up sharing face to face Christmas w/ grandchildren – sharing together as a family during the summer, having lunch w/ friends, but your blog reminds me bigger things outside of me are reasons to rejoice. Craig said, “Linda, I think God is giving us quality time to be together since we are staying in.” Hmmm- a thought from someone who struggles w/ what day it is or not remembering names of children/grandchildren- has a sense of what a gift God is giving us to rejoice!


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