Dear Christian Parents:
One of my relatives (who will be unnamed!) is a planner. She (whoops!) likes to know what is happening and when it is happening. She doesn’t want to be unprepared. In many ways I get that. Years like this drive people like that nuts! Are you one of those people? In my family, we’ve gotten used to always adding a disclaimer to any plan that is made. “This is what we’re planning to do…. but plans could change.” The closer we get to the event, the more certain our plan becomes, but it’s never certain until it actually happens!
How different that is from God’s plan. From eternity, God planned our salvation. It involved his one and only Son, Jesus Christ. That plan never changed. God made a promise in Genesis chapter 3 that he would send his Son to be the Savior of all mankind. He repeated that promise again and again throughout the Old Testament. We celebrate the fulfillment of that plan/promise on Christmas. And now, with our sins completely forgiven, we wait for him to return and take us home. As you celebrate Christmas with your family this year, praise God for keeping his plan and fulfilling his promises!
Let us all with gladsome voice
Praise the God of heaven,
Who, to bid our hearts rejoice,
His own Son has given.
To this vale of tears he comes,
Here to serve in sadness,
That with him in heav’n’s fair homes
We may reign in gladness.
We are rich, for he was poor;
Is not this a wonder?
Therefore praise God evermore
Here on earth and yonder.
O Lord Christ, our Savior dear,
Bless us and be near us.
Grant us now a glad new year.
Amen, Jesus, hear us! (CW 64)
Last Day Before Christmas
Our final day of classes before the Christmas break will be on Wednesday, December 23. Classes will begin as normal at 8:00. Classrooms will be having Christmas parties and finishing things up before the Christmas break. Our students will be watching the Children’s Christmas service which has been recorded for their Wednesday morning chapel service. We’re asking families to also watch it together sometime next week. It will be available “live” on our website – www.sjtosa.org – at 1:00 on Wednesday, December 23, but it will archived there for later viewing as well. All students will be dismissed at 11:45 AM. Please plan to arrange for your child to be picked up between 11:45 and 12:00 unless they will be going to child care. Classes will resume on Wednesday, January 6.
Like most everything these days, our Christmas worship will look a little different this year, but we will still be praising God with wonderful music and messages from his Word! Attendance at in-person worship is still being restricted to about 85 people at St. John’s. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, services are being added on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The 3:00 and 4:30 services on Christmas Eve are full, but as of this writing there is still room at the 6:00 and 7:30 services. Also at this time, there is still room in all three services on Christmas Day – 8:30, 9:45 or 11:00. Click here for online registration. If you plan to attend one of the services in person, please be sure to register your family. If you are not able to attend in person, please celebrate the birth of our Savior with your family by watching together online. Note that the service will be livestreamed at 3:00 on Christmas Eve and at 8:30 on Christmas Day. After that, the services will be archived to be watched at any time.
I have said it before, but I don’t think I can say it enough. Thanks to all of the St. John’s family for your prayers and support this school year. We’ve faced some real challenges, but your prayers, cooperation and support have been blessed by our gracious God! Join me in boldly praying that God will continue to bless us at St. John’s in 2021! May we continue face-to-face instruction, may our school families be kept safe and healthy, and if it is your will, may this pandemic be wiped from the earth!
On behalf of the entire faculty and staff at St. John’s Lutheran School, I wish you a very blessed, merry Christmas!
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