Luke 2:12 “And this will be a sign to you:  You will find a babe, wrapped ins swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Thursday, December 7, 2017
Dear St. Mark’s Family,
The season of Christmas is in full swing now.  As I walk about our neighbourhood there are Christmas lights up everywhere and Christmas trees shining from the living room windows.  You know what I have noticed?  That many of these same homes are also decorated during other seasonal events like Thanksgiving and Halloween.  Or religious festivals like Hanukkah (Judaism), Chinese New Year, and Diwali (Sikh/Hindu).  I think it is lovely to celebrate the seasons and festivals of our year.  But what makes Christmas any different from another holiday or religious festival?  Luke 2:12 give us the answer.  The sign that sets Christmas apart as unique and wonderful is that little child, wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.  Why is this child so special?
As I write this letter I am looking at our Christmas tree.  It is adorned in lights and bulbs and many little manger scenes.  Also hanging all over our tree in large golden letters are the words of testimony taken from Isaiah 9:6;
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
There are several other words of testimony on our tree, like “Emmanuel”, meaning God is with us, “Christ the Lord,”  “Saviour” and “Son of God.”  This is what sets Christmas apart from any other holiday or festival.  That little child, the Son of God.
Tomorrow I will put up on our front porch a large manger scene in lights.  We set it out every year for it is a testimony to the sign of God’s great love and redemption for the world.
Come and celebrate this great season with us at St. Marks.  Our outdoor “Journey Of Christmas” runs from December 15 – 24 with wonderful concerts and carol singing every night.  Christmas Eve is on a Sunday.  What better way to honour Christ that to be in church with your family?  And would you please consider a special financial gift of love and blessing to St Marks at this season?  It would really help us!
May the Lord bless you and fill your Christmas with the joy of that wonderful child!
Rev. Craig Tanksley
Rector, St. Marks, Ocean Park