Sunday, February 18, 2018

Christmas at Hope Church LA

December means winter and the busy holiday season across much of the United States. By the time December comes around, it may have already been snowing for a month in high elevations across the West Coast and the northernmost states. This year, Chicago had its coldest Christmas since 1996 and Seattle had its first white Christmas in nine years!

Christmas in America traditionally begins just after the Thanksgiving holiday on the fourth Thursday of November. Christmas has become a very commercial and secular celebration throughout the United States. Department stores, shopping malls and small shops elaborately decorate their establishments and entice shoppers to spend lavishly on Christmas gifts. Nevertheless, Christmas retains serious religious significance for many people. It is the occasion for an annual family reunion and it creates a pervasive atmosphere of generosity and good cheer known as the “Christmas Spirit” throughout the country.

California’s dismally dry autumn paints a bleak outlook for the state’s rainy season. In Los Angeles, you can surf in the morning and ski in the afternoon. Everyone loves a parade and you can welcome Santa Claus when his sled lands on Hollywood Boulevard or take advantage of the beautiful winter weather and get a tan as you skate on a sunny afternoon at the various outdoor ice rinks throughout the city. During holiday nights, dazzling light displays throughout Los Angeles bring the city to vibrant life with traditional lighting ceremonies and festive decorations.

“Church Christmas Celebration”, on the other hand, is a handy synonym for “Religious service” and no matter how electrifying you may sound presenting your invitation; it is still a religious gathering. Inviting friends or families to join Christmas service is a challenge compared to all the fun and lively activities out there.

With these in mind, Hope Church LA prayerfully determined to embrace all invited guests to our annual Christmas celebration with the simple message that God became man and “Love Came Down”. This amazing truth needs not to compete with the world’s activities, does not need to be decorated in bright lights, and needs not to scream louder than the news. It is simply amazing that God became man and “Love Came Down”.

Utilizing John 1:14-18, Pastor Young, our guest speaker, enthusiastically illuminated the essence of the meaning…. ‘the Word became flesh and dwelt among us’. The message started with Pastor Young unpacking his own life experiences and he concluded the adventure with a stunning challenge to believers, unbelievers, and make believers to receive or rekindle this relentless love of the Father by seeking Him from Jeremiah 29:13.

The night ended with no spectacular fireworks or dazzling light parade but just a simple amazement similar to the amazement of a group of shepherds in an inn twenty centuries ago in the manger adoring the new born King. We worshipped and honored Him in bringing joy to the world.

Written by Hope Church, LA

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