Sad Heart at ChristmasI live on the west coast of North America, so for some of you my Christmas Eve greetings always arrive out of sync with your calendar. This is especially true with those of you who are orthodox – though I enjoy the thought that someone might think I am so organized I’m two weeks head of the crowd.

May all the joy, peace, and rest in hope that God purposes for you to have through Jesus Christ be yours this Christmas.

I know the above blessing seems like the impossible for many of you to experience this year. After all, the times we live in are even harder than what we called hard times a few years ago. The global economic recession has thwarted even more people’s ability to escape everyday life with the observance of holiday traditions and the distraction of material bounty.

If the economy is a new problem for some (for others it is a long felt one) the same old sadnesses that greatly affect us at Christmas continue to make their rounds. Separation from loved ones due to military service, prison sentences, and even death add a sting to our own cherished memories of Christmases past. Sickness of health and sickness in relationships weigh heavier when the stereo, radio, TV and internet stream festive reminders of what isn’t or can’t be this year.

christmasmangerDecember 25 is another day in the calendar of 365 days of 2009. The planet will spin tomorrow just as it did yesterday. But as a day we have chosen to focus on the birth of Jesus, December 25 can be a day of remembering and rejoicing that God loved us so much that He became man and came to this spinning Earth to save us from the eternal consequences of the guilt of our spinning souls.

The Bible says the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem was the beginning of that gift. It had been promised to us in the first moments following mankind’s rejection of God in the Garden of Eden and that promise was complete when Jesus was raised from the dead after offering Himself to God as a sacrifice for our sins. The moment we receive it with simple faith in Jesus alone it is our gift forever.

And so, may all the joy, peace, and rest in hope that God purposes for you to have through Jesus Christ be yours this Christmas.

While I have you, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for being a part of the Cybersalt site and newsletters. Your reading of the newsletter and visits to the site mean a lot to me and my wife. Your enjoyment of all things (or perhaps some things) Cybersalt make it fun for us. Your reports of how God is using Cybersalt give us great encouragement and thanksgiving to God for His goodness and grace.

A few days ago I alluded to an online Christmas card Susan had put together. I wanted to wait until now to share the link to it with you. On behalf of Susan and our family we wish you Christmas blessings with love from our hearts


Rev James Snyder videoPastor Tim has retired from pastoring local churches and is now working alongside his wife to help refugees and persecuted Christians.

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