I want to wish each of you a Merry Christmas as we remember the birth of our Savior into the world. The great Samuel Davies preached a sermon on Christmas Day in both 1758 and 1760. The former occasion was to one of the churches he supplied in New Kent County, Virginia and the latter was at Princeton, New Jersey. Davies acknowledged that there is no Scriptural “authority for appropriating this day to a sacred use,” but he was also certain that there are many who “religiously employ themselves in a manner acceptable to God” on this day (Sermons of the Rev. Samuel Davies, Volume III, Soli Deo Gloria, 562). With that in mind, I trust that each of you will make use of Christmas Day in such an appropriate manner that will honor Christ. Also, if there is anyone on this email list who does not have a church where they can attend on Christmas Day, please email me and I can send you a link to my congregation’s worship service which you can follow live via zoom. I am very happy that Vanguard’s mission church in Clarksville, TN, Pathway Presbyterian Church, will be joining with Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Destin, FL via zoom for both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day (since there were no supply pastors who could minister to them on those days).
We often quote the words of Jesus from Acts 20:35—“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” I want to encourage each person on this email list to strive to make that your practice in 2023. Think of the things you can do for others that no one else is willing to do. Good deeds come in all sizes and forms. Some of them require you to get your hands dirty. Some good deeds are menial tasks. Many good deeds will not be fun. Do them anyway. But remember what Paul wrote in Romans 12:8—“he who gives, with liberality. . . he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” No deed is ever good if it is done with a perturbed spirit or with a miserly spirit. You must be generous and cheerful. Consider, for instance, the example of Jesus Christ. He left heaven’s glory with the angels singing His praises to come to earth and be born of a woman. The angels once again sang at His birth, but He was a newborn who did not know what was happening. Did Jesus ever grumble at the indignity of being born or the difficulties He faced in the veil of flesh? Did He complain when He was thirsty or hungry? No one ever gave so liberally or showed mercy with such cheerfulness as did Jesus. He is to be our example in all respects.
Dewey Roberts, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Destin, FL. Please send any donations to: Vanguard Presbytery, PO Box 1862, Destin, FL 32540. Donations dated and postmarked by December 31, 202 will count for your charitable contributions for 2022. Visit us at: www.vanguardpresbyterianchurch.com