Pastor’s Ponderings


Dear Families and Friends of Woodmar UMC,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

In November 2018, I did something I haven’t done in decades…I ordered picture Christmas cards. I went to the Walgreens website (I am not receiving a commission for this), chose a background, dragged a picture into it and voila! A personalized Christmas card. I chose a background that had the words “Comfort and Joy” printed at the bottom, and, quite frankly, I wasn’t thrilled with the choice, but it was the only option that fit the picture well.

After I placed the order, the words “Comfort and Joy” continued to resound in my head, and I continued to be bugged by them until God opened the eyes of my heart to see and understand the beauty of these precious words. Luke 2:8-12 reads:

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” (italics mine)

I added the italics to “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people,” because this phrase is what brought “comfort and joy” into a right perspective. The Good News of Jesus Christ brings both comfort and joy to all the people. Being a follower of Jesus Christ and sharing the Good News doesn’t mean we are going to be happy every single moment of our lives…what it does mean is that in the deepest times of sorrow, (like what we have recently been experiencing in the life of our congregation through so many losses) and in the greatest times of joy, the Good News of Jesus Christ remains constant and blesses us with comfort and joy no matter what life throws at us. And, as we accept this amazing blessing from God, we get to share that blessing with others. We can confidently share the Good News of hope to the hopeless…to bring the Good News “that will cause great joy for all people!” Thanks be to God!

Many blessings to you and yours in 2019! Happy New Year!

Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,

Pastor Esta