St. Peter Lutheran Church
2929 F.M 972 (at F.M. 1105)
Walburg, Texas 78626

Office: (512) 863-5600
Worship Services - each Sunday 10:15 a.m.
Holy Communion - 1st & 3rd Sundays



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Last Updated:
Dec. 2, 2017

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The St. Peter Messenger    The St. Peter Messenger  Volume XXXI  Issue 3 December 2017

"God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." - Romans 5:8


When we were young there was nothing more exhilarating than coming into the family room and staring at the presents under the tree. We knew in our hearts we shouldn't think that Christmas was about presents and gifts; but we had been primed by advertising and seasonal expectations to believe it anyway. Christmas was that special point in time when our expectations finally met with the reality of "our heart's desire."


 As we got older, we managed to move away from such blatant desire. Yes, the advertisements created to stoke our consumerist appetites were still there; but when we grew up, we "put away childish things" (1 Corinthians 13:11). Instead we thought of goodwill to others and the gatherings of family and friends as being the true meaning. Countless television specials needing to find a way to justify taking advertising dollars and yet wanting to avoid any truly religious overtones began to focus on a very "this-worldly" kind of "joy" in the "Christmas season."


 Yet, later on we seem to see the out-of-touch philosophy behind this. This world is far more focused on running over people for that Black Friday toaster special. Joy as the world describes it vanishes as quickly as our love for that very special present. Meanwhile, the Christmas season seems to arrive earlier and earlier while meaning less and less to us with each new inundation of holiday decor or sappy Christmas song sung by this year's flavor-of-the-week band. Ask the average person at the department store, the sales associate at the electronic's store, or, if you are really brave, the cashier at the toy store if they feel that Christmas joy. Chances are it went out somewhere at the beginning of the shift.


 We are left asking ourselves, ‘What went wrong?’ There is nothing wrong with presents or parties, Christmas dinners and (most) Christmas carols. But too often, even the disciples who have their eyes most truly focused on God, can lose sight of that Christmas spirit. At those moments joy appears to ring hollow and wonder is replaced with spectacle. Too often we have placed the gift above the Giver.


 This doesn't mean we should become equally Scrooge-like in demanding people say "Merry Christmas" or chant "Keep Christ in Christmas" like some desperate Mantra. We shouldn't roll our eyes at yet another seasonal commercial or whence at the secular platitudes of another Very Merry Christmas Special. That is to put legalism at season when God has sent His most precious gift.


  Rather, we should understand that Christ's Kingdom didn't come down with the thud of a New Law or New Legalism; but in the presence of His own true Son. The demands of zealots of the culture war can numb us to this very real and amazing act of God. It is in Him that we see not the greatest presents under the tree, but the greatest gift hanging on the tree. It is in Him that we see not merely the fellowship of our family, but all fellowship made complete by fellowship with the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9). It is this Christ that causes the weary world's frustration to turn into joy.


Pastor Philip

Christmas Finds Us