Merry Christmas to Thrive Church!
From Pastor Tom and Karen Anderson
Good news of great joy! Jesus is born. God has come for us. God is with us. God is for us. To all who receive him, who believe in his name, he gives the power to become children of God. Karen and I are rejoicing in our faith this Christmas. Jesus is the light shining into this dark world. We’re walking towards him every day and this gives life meaning and purpose. We are so grateful to have Jesus in our lives!
We are so honored to be a part of this caring and compassionate family called Thrive Church. You are signs of God’s grace to us. Your faithfulness and service to others is an inspiration. It is such a blessing to be in your presence and work for God with you. I am really enthusiastic about being your pastor. I feel electricity when I come in through our doors each day. The Holy Spirit really does dwell here. I see him in your commitment to each other and your kindness towards our neighbors near and far. The world is a better place because of you.
Thank you for your many kindnesses to us over this past year. We were overwhelmed by your cards, prayers and acts of support when my mom died this past summer. All my family was blessed by the many of you who greeted us at the visitation or the funeral service. How blessed we are to belong to you all. Having you in our lives greatly eases the sorrow of the now empty chair around our Christmas table. We are never alone.
It touched us when you shared your sympathies with us at the death of our family dog, Tyler. We are so blessed to be doing life together with you. We are so thankful for the burdens you bear for us and the joys we celebrate together. There are few things in our life that are as precious to us as having you as our church family. You have served to strengthen our faith and bolster our hope. Again we are humbled and awed by each of you. It is a tonic for my soul to imagine each of your faces as we sit together before Jesus in the worship center. It makes me want to sing:
Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
Karen and I pray for you each day. The true joy of Christmas is not to be found in any food, music or gifts we give. It’s Jesus. It's just Jesus. May each one of you be filled with his Christmas Spirit. May you be led by his Spirit who pours the love of God into our hearts. If you are grieving or depressed in this holiday season, know that Jesus has your back and we do too!
I pray daily that God would equip me to be the kind of pastor you really need. With God’s help we promise to do everything in our power to strengthen you in faith, increase your hope and perfect you in the love of God. Merry Christmas to all!