A Note From Chris - December 15, 2022

Around this time of year as I’m preparing my Christmas message, I try and think of the specific sort of people who may be present on 12/23 or 12/24 for our Christmas Services.

A single mom who is just trying to keep her head above water every day.
A widower who is spending the first Christmas without their spouse.
A brother who agrees to go to church to humor the family, but isn’t that interested.
A single person who wants to come, but hates always going to church alone.
The family who knows they need to get back in church, and this is their first attempt.
The couple working through IVF and hormones, praying for a baby.
The recently divorced man who is just trying to emotionally get by this year.
The teen who is trying to find their identity in God, but their parents are against it.
The kid who drug his own family to church for Christmas, mostly against their will.
The skeptic who appreciates Christmas, but really isn’t so sure about Jesus.
The couple who barely talk much anymore, but will come because it’s their tradition.
The woman who was baptized for the first time this year and is so excited about Jesus.
The family who connected to the church recently, and is excited to worship.
The child who’s favorite happy place is Cornerstone Kids.
The mom who takes her deepest breath of the week during worship.
The dad who regularly turns to Jesus, putting all the stress he feels into his arms.
The older lady who has celebrated Jesus’ birth for years, but it still carries excitement.
The person who is open to God, but not sure how to take a next step.

Maybe I mentioned you in there, maybe not. But it is hopefully evident that while we are one body and one community, we are very different people with very different situations. Thankfully, the birth of Jesus came to cover them ALL. What a gift.

This week, I’m thinking, praying, and asking my Ones to come with me to Christmas at Cornerstone. If you haven’t made your plans or made your calls/texts/asks, it’s time to do so!
While our Creative Arts team and Children’s team are working hard to create an meaningful worship and ministry experience, I am praying for you and your friends or neighbors who may be only one or two steps away from truly following and loving Jesus. Your invite and conversation may be what God uses to jump-start their faith in him and change their entire trajectory.

We have six services happening over 2 days. That is a lot of church for our staff and volunteers in two days. But I think I can speak for them by saying we would gladly do it more if God showed us the need. Please be praying that God will move powerfully and capture the hearts of those who most need encouragement or hope this year. I can’t wait to worship with you this year for Christmas, and before that Sunday with our last weekend in “Christmas at the Movies.”

Yours and His,
Chris VandeLinde

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