I didn’t get the chance to wish everyone a Merry Christmas at church tonight, and I’m too cheap and forgetful to send everyone a card individually, so I thought instead that I could send a “Christmas card” this way.
I have felt deeply privileged to have been able to serve you (in all ways) this year, and hope to continue that in 2012.
At the same time, I am humbled by the prayerful support I got from you during the rough times (even the odd smile or random conversation about football contributed!) and celebrating with me during the good times.
So I’ll just say Merry Christmas and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year (though whether at the 9:30 or 11:30 service remains to be seen…), and leave with these encouraging words of Paul to the Philippians. Even when I’m away for a week (or even just at work), I miss it (don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be at home)…
I thank my God every time I remember you.
In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me.
God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight,
so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ,
filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ— to the glory and praise of God.