Matthew 1:18-25 (KJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
By the grace of God, we are alive to witness Christmas Eve. We cannot take this blessing for granted because so many who began this year with us are not alive to witness this privilege. We hope to celebrate Christmas which is a day that we observe the Birth of Jesus Christ. Even though we do not know the exact day Jesus was born, we know that he was born of a virgin called Mary, so we want to wish Jesus a Happy Birthday.
On tomorrow, let’s support our children who have prepared Christmas speeches online. Usually, this occurs at the South Campus every year the Sunday before Christmas, but because of the pandemic, the children are making their presentation online. The video production will be made available on-demand via the church’s Youtube channel: youtube.com/sjmbctv
Moreover, I would like to express a special thank you to those of us who have been giving faithfully in the last nine months, and I encourage each of us who have done so to continue. I also would like to express a special thank you to people who were not giving but gave as a result of my appeal to you in the last two weeks. We were not doing well financially in this last quarter, but our finances increased in the last two weeks which indicates that more people are now giving. To those of you who were not giving but are now giving, prioritize your finances to enable you to continue. To those of you who are still not giving, I encourage you to be a good Christian and parishioner of St. John by supporting your church financially. Also, beware of insulting God by Christmas shopping with money designated for Tithes and Offerings. We currently contribute by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org).
May God bless and sustain each of us, and may each of us experience a Merry Christmas.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall, Pastor